The city’s Department of Correction is failing to provide masks for officers working among coronavirus-infected inmates on Rikers Island, according to a sergeant who ripped the agency this week in footage obtained by The Post.
“You would think that this department would give the proper protective equipment to the officers here. Hand sanitizers, making sure that everyone has what they need. No. That’s not the case,” Sgt. Benny Boscio says outside the West facility on Rikers Island, where sick prisoners are being held.
“Can you get the officers that work here where you’re sending sick inmates the proper protection equipment?”
The city corrections officer’s union has renewed their call for supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves on Wednesday — when a DOC security officer on Rikers was confirmed as the first from the agency to come down with COVID-19.
“The other thing that’s crazy to me is that I hear an officer…decided to bring her own mask to work and wear it at roll call in the chapel,” Boscio claimed.
When the officer declined to remove her mask, a captain began “chastising” and “threatening” her before ultimately sending her home for the day, he said.
“I don’t understand. You don’t supply the mask, but we can’t wear our own mask? Do you really care about the safety and well-being of your officers?” Boscio fumed in the six-minute clip.
It was not immediately clear why the officer was sent home, though a Corrections sources told The Post she may have been sick herself and was “coughing and told to go home.”
Union officials have been pushing for masks “since day one of this crisis, and before any of our members even tested positive for COVID-19,” COBA President Elias Husamudeen in a statement.
“We’re at the epicenter of the epicenter and the city must do more to keep our officers safe.”
The DOC did not immediately return an email.