New York City police lose their first sworn member, a detective, to coronavirus

News of the detective's death comes after the New York Police Department said Friday that 442 uniformed employees have tested positive for the coronavirus along with 70 civilian employees.

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By Minyvonne Burke, Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter

A detective with the New York City Police Department died from the coronavirus, which has infected more than 500 of the agency's officers and other employees. He is the first sworn member of the department to die from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Cedric Dixon, a 23-year veteran of the force, died at a hospital in the Bronx, said the Detectives' Endowment Association president, Paul DiGiacomo.

“He was known as the person that would do anything to help you," police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference on Saturday. "He’s going to be so sorely missed.”

Dixon was assigned to the 32nd precinct in Harlem. DiGiacomo described him as a great detective.

News of the death comes after the department said Friday that 442 uniformed employees have tested positive for the coronavirus along with 70 civilian employees.

According to a report released by the department, 4,111 uniformed employees called out sick on Friday. That's just over 11 percent of its uniformed workforce, the department said.

On Thursday, police announced that a staff member, Dennis Dickson, died at a Brooklyn hospital from the virus. They described Dickson, who worked as a custodian, as a "14-year veteran of the NYPD family."

"Mr. Dickson was a revered member of the custodial staff at Police Headquarters once spending 17 days at the headquarters building during Super Storm Sandy assisting with emergency cleanup operations," the department said in a press release. "Mr. Dickson was again on the front line cleaning and disinfecting 1 Police Plaza so that our personnel could be here safely, allowing them to continue to serve the people of the City Of New York."

Giacomina Barr-Brown, a civilian employee of the department, also died from the virus at her home. The seven-year veteran was assigned to the 49th Precinct Roll Call office and made sure patrol and administrative assignments were covered in her precinct.

"We have lost three members of our family in as little as 48 hours,” Shea said Saturday. “As I stand here I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling. What the families of these three heroes are feeling. We are hurting. We are crying. And we continue to fight. We simply have no other choice.”

New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus, with 52,318 confirmed cases and 728 deaths, as of Saturday morning. In New York City alone, there are more than 29,000 cases.