200 NYPD vehicles totaled by Sandy, say officials

This is a file photo of an NYPD This is a file photo of an NYPD squad car. Photo Credit: Newsday File

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Close to 200 NYPD vehicles were totaled by the floodwaters of superstorm Sandy while scores of police firearms were marred by saltwater and taken out of service for cleaning, officials said.

Those items were among the losses suffered by the NYPD as Sandy flooded low-lying areas of the Rockaways and other parts of the city, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Tuesday.

Homes of about 500 officers received "catastrophic damage" because of Sandy, officials said.

Browne didn't have a dollar amount for the department's losses, but agreed that with building repairs, it could total in the millions of dollars. Station houses for the 60th Precinct in Brooklyn, the 100th Precinct in the Rockaways, as well as a housing police facility there and in lower Manhattan, sustained damage, officials have said. Apart from repairs, all of the damaged police buildings will be disinfected before they can be reoccupied.

About 170 police cars appear to be ruined by flooding, while about 30 more may be salvageable, Browne said. He noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to cover the costs of repairs and replacements.

Police waded into waist-deep and chest-high waters to help rescue people and in doing so, had their guns soaked, Browne said. Those weapons, presumably regulation 9-mm pistols, were sent to the police firing range at Rodmans Neck in the Bronx for examination to see if they can be refurbished and put back in service, he said. Assuming the weapons are no longer servicable, they will likely have to be scrapped and replaced.

Just before the storm hit, 28 police horses were taken from their stables near the Hudson River in Manhattan and Brighton Beach and evacuated inland. The steeds returned to their stables by Nov. 4, police said.

One police officer, Artur Kasprzak of Staten Island, who was off duty at the time, died in the storm. Kasprzak was killed while trying to rescue his family.

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