CBS2 has learned that an army of cops will fan out across the city this weekend to make sure New Yorkers are masked and apart.
CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer has exclusive details.
You might say it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. The NYPD will be out in force at parks, beaches and playgrounds this weekend to make sure New Yorkers don’t get up close and personal with each other, that everyone observes social distancing.
“We are past the point of warnings. This is a dangerous situation,” said NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
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Monahan told Kramer that New Yorkers drawn out of their homes by the expected sunny skies and warm temperatures this weekend will see a large police presence: 1,000 cops, all five boroughs, to keep New Yorkers safe by trying to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“Barbecues, large gatherings of people together, organized sports events, people hanging together trying to drink… we’ll be breaking these up. We will be actively involved,” Monahan said. “People who are just walking together, exercising, on a blanket with their family, those are not people we are going to bother. They don’t have a mask, we’ll give them a mask.”
“Will you really arrest people?” Kramer asked.
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“If they confront us, it becomes an incident, yes we will. If it has to be, yes. I hope it never comes to that though, Marcia. People should understand just how dangerous a virus this is,” Monahan said.
The new police enforcement action comes after Mayor de Blasio saw red following a funeral in Williamsburg this week that drew thousands.
“In Wiliamsburg, that was completely unacceptable. Over two thousand people gathered on the street,” Monahan said.
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Meanwhile, the mayor announced a plan to provide more open space by closing seven miles of streets next week for pedestrians and cyclists, but he has stressed social distancing is the order of the day.
“There’s going to be a crackdown everywhere if we see gatherings,” de Blasio said.
And even though he’s concerned about crowds, the mayor insisted he’s going to find some way to celebrate July Fourth. He wouldn’t say how, but he promised there will be fireworks.