NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City is suspending its safe streets pilot program because it’s being underutilized, officials say.

Back on March 27, the city shut down a street in four of the five boroughs, so residents had somewhere to practice social distancing outside.

Officials said the goal was to reduce crowding in parks and playgrounds.


Apparently, not enough people took advantage of the program to justify the police manpower.

The mayor’s office said it required 80 officers to close six to seven blocks each day.

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As the NYPD deals with a rise in sick-outs, the department’s resources are stretched thin as is.

By Sunday evening, 1,843 uniformed members and 274 civilian members had tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 18% of the uniformed workforce called out sick.

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“The brave men and women of the NYPD never back away from a challenge when the safety of New Yorkers is at stake,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “We are suspending this pilot because we must protect them like they are protecting us, and not enough New Yorkers are utilizing this program to justify its continuation at this point in time.”