National Police Foundation president Jim Burch speaks out.

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A traffic commander who “was revered” by his colleagues has become one of the latest members of New York City’s Police Department to have fallen victim to the coronavirus.

Mohammed Chowdhury, 54, was honored Wednesday with a prayer service and carryout ceremony that had some of the trappings of a typical police funeral mixed with safety measures that have become commonplace in the wake of the disease’s outbreak.

Members of the NYPD Honor Guard, wearing masks, carry the casket of Traffic Section Commander Mohammed Chowdhury during his funeral in New York on Wednesday.

“Mohammed, who would have marked 30 years of NYPD service next week, was revered by members of our Transportation Bureau,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a tweet. “The prayers of a thankful city go out to his family & coworkers.”


At his ceremony, pallbearers donned protective face masks along with their police department dress blues. A man praying near the casket was swaddled in a white Tyvek suit. Others in the sparse crowd outside the funeral home tried to maintain some semblance of social distancing.

People pray as the casket of Traffic Section Commander Mohammed Chowdhury are brought out of the funeral home during his funeral in New York on Wednesday.


Chowdhury died Sunday of complications from the disease, the police department said. He is among 31 members of the NYPD who have perished as a result of the virus. The dead include five detectives, a patrol officer and five other members of the traffic enforcement unit.

The New York Post reported earlier this week that more than 5,000 of its personnel remain out of work because of the coronavirus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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