Coronavirus News: NYPD commissioner thanks traffic officers during COVID-19 outbreak

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- As the COVID-19 virus chases more cars and drivers off of city streets and the number of pedestrians scatter from Midtown sidewalks, the NYPD's traffic enforcement agents remain on the front lines.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea is visiting thousands of officers throughout the department to talk with them so that they are aware of the danger of exposure. He says they need to socially distance themselves from people but still be able to help in a time of need.

"I just wanted to stop by first and foremost to say thank you for what you are doing," Commissioner Shea told them. "It is challenging times for the entire department."

Shea reminded officers to wash their hands, avoid touching their faces, and keep a safe distance from people.

Armed with their gloves, hand sanitizer and other protective gear, traffic officers hit the streets manning intersections, keeping traffic moving, or on a parking enforcement detail.

"We are just reminding them to do it as safely as possible," Shea said. "Don't necessarily slow down, but be cautious."

The commissioner wants to thank officers for their continued service.

"The people of New York City need you, so thank you for what you do," he said.

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