NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The first officer of New York Police Department to die from COVID-19 coronavirus-related illness was announced Saturday, a 22-year veteran of the force.

Detective Cedric G. Dixon, 48, served in the 32nd Precinct in Harlem.

“We are hurting, we are crying, and we continue to fight,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday. “We simply have no other choice. It is in our heart, and it is in our soul to sacrifice to serve to fight for you.”

Dixon was described as a kindhearted and generous family man with a wife and children.

Shea said Dixon was “known as the person that would do anything to help you.”

“If you had something broken, he was particularly fond of fixing technology and electronics,” he said. “He is going to be so sorely missed, and it is just a very, very difficult time for the 32nd precinct and for the department as a whole.”

Dixon died Saturday morning in a Bronx hospital. Police sources say he suffered from asthma and diabetes.

“This disease is particularly aggressive against people with vulnerabilities, and I’ll leave it at that,” Shea said.

There’s no word on how Dixon contracted the virus.

Two others who worked within the NYPD died earlier this week: Giacomina Barr-Brown, a civilian administrative aide in the 49th Precinct, and Dennis Dickson, a custodian who had worked with the NYPD since 2006.

“We have lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours,” said Shea. “As I stand here I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling, what the families of these three heroes are feeling.”

Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detective’s Endowment Association, says the organization will be there to help Dixon’s family “in any way that we can.”

“They are in our hearts and in our prayers, and they will never, ever be forgotten,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shea has ordered any officer who is sick to stay at home under quarantine.

“You just don’t often have the opportunity to isolate,” said Shea about NYPD officers during the pandemic. Earlier this week he said about 7% of the NYPD’s 3,200 members were currently out sick, triple the usual rate.

As of Saturday night, 608 uniformed NYPD members and 88 civilian members had tested positive for the coronavirus.


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