The New York City Police Department is looking to put procedures in places for officers responding to fire calls after two officers were critically injured in a fire in Coney Island on Sunday. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
When Officers Rosa Rodriguez and Dennis Guerra responded to a fire on the 13th floor of a Coney Island building Sunday, they were overcome by thick smoke when they got off the elevator. They were unconscious when firefighters found them.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said what happened to the two officers tragically points our the lack of a clear policy when it comes to officers responding to fires or utilizing elevators to do so.
"It is not unique to New York City. It is a deficiency, evidently, in the profession," he said.
It's unclear if the officers knew they were entering such a dire situation. Witnesses said there was not much smoke initially from the outside of the building.
Chief of Department Philip Banks is leading what's called the after-action investigation.
"His preliminary review of polling of other cities, London, Los Angeles, most of the major cities do not have a policy, a training to address this issue," Bratton said.
The police commissioner said he wants a policy in place a soon as possible. Banks said he has already reached out to the New York City Fire Department about safety issues.
"I had a conversation with the fire commissioner, and he will be assisting us, taking a look and advising us on some of our short-term implementation, and certainly, some of our long-term policy changes if required," Banks said.
The mayor and several high-ranking police officials met with recruits at the police academy. The mayor told the soon-to-be officers that it is a rewarding job, but danger can pop up at any time, like the situation that Officers Rodriguez and Guerra faced.
"These two officers did what they did because there were people in danger, and they answered the call," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor said he is proud of their dedication and is thankful for the work officers do every day.