The Detectives’ Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

Families of essential workers killed by COVID-19 face loss of health care

May 17, 2020

At a recent virtual City Council meeting, NYPD Detective Paul Digiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, testified that the pandemic represented “the darkest time in history for the rank of detective” with the loss of five members in just two weeks to a “silent killer” that had “proven more dangerous and deadly than any terrorist attack or any criminal.”

In addition to their regular duties as police officers, it falls on detectives to go to every home where there’s been a death, document the scene and talk to the family. At the height of the pandemic, the city was seeing as many as 250 fatal cardiac deaths in New Yorkers’ homes every day, ten times the normal incidence.

Between the five detectives there are eight kids as young as five-months old. Detective Robert Cardona, a 19-year veteran, had previously fought and won a battle with a 9/11 World Trade Center-related cancer before succumbing to COVID-19.

“Extending healthcare benefits for the surviving families of these five detectives and the families of all other fellow municipal workers who have become casualties in the war against COVID-19, as well as classifying their deaths as line-of-duty deaths, is a moral obligation,” Mr. Digiacomo said.

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