NYPD announces first staff member to die of coronavirus

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A custodian with the New York Police Department (NYPD) died Thursday from the coronavirus, the nation's largest police department said.

Dennis Dickson died at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, according to the NYPD. It was not clear how he contracted the virus.

The 14-year department veteran had been assigned to police headquarters.

This photo show Dennis Dickson, third from the left, during the cleanup of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Dickson, a custodian with the New York Police Department, became the agency’s first employee to die from the coronavirus, the NYPD said Thursday.

This photo show Dennis Dickson, third from the left, during the cleanup of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Dickson, a custodian with the New York Police Department, became the agency’s first employee to die from the coronavirus, the NYPD said Thursday. (New York Police Department )

"Mr. Dickson was again on the front line cleaning and disinfecting 1 Police Plaza so that our personnel could be here safely," an NYPD news release said.

The department said Dickson -- whose age was not disclosed -- once spent 17 days at police headquarters during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to assist with emergency cleanup operations.

His death comes as coronavirus cases amongst the NYPD continue to spike. More than 200 department employees tested positive for COVID-19, including at least 177 uniformed officers.

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On Tuesday, 2,774 of department employees were out sick, totaling 7.6 percent of its workforce. The NYPD said it is continuing to conduct street patrols and making sure all nonessential businesses are closed.

Fox News' Bryan Llenas and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report. 

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