These cops were supposed to be preventing shootings — but instead they were just blowing smoke.
A pair of NYPD officers posted up on a Bronx street corner to deter shootings amid the city’s gun-violence epidemic was instead caught on video smoking hookah out of their cruiser, according to sources, witnesses and video.
The two cops are seen standing next to their patrol car within the Bronx’s 48th Precinct, making clouds of smoke as they take turns sucking on a hose that snakes through the open front passenger window.
The alarming scene unfolded last Sunday, July 26, while the officers spent about 90 minutes in front of an apartment building on Bronx Park South, across from the Bronx Zoo, a witness told The Post.
The cops — working a “shooting post” to prevent gunplay that has skyrocketed 72 percent this year — chatted with two residents, first a woman and and then a man, who came outside.
The person who shot the video told The Post he put it on Instagram about 5:30 pm.
About six hours later, at 11:30 p.m., both cops knocked on his door and asked him to take it down, he said.
“‘Can you please delete the video? I could lose my job. This could be an ongoing investigation,’’ one officer pleaded, the witness said, describing the officers as “rookies” in their mid-20s.
“They looked scared. They looked nervous. They knew they were in the wrong.”
The cops told the witness someone had sent them a link to the video, which quickly spread on social media and has been widely viewed.
The witness agreed to take down his video, he said, but “millions of people saw it already.”
The witness — whose name is being withheld by The Post — said he had looked out his window to check the weather and saw the two officers standing by the NYPD car.
“I saw them reach for a hookah inside the car,” he said. “They were smoking the hookah and talking.”
As the officers puffed, the witness smelled mint, one of the typical flavors of hookah tobacco, he said.
Both cops are seen with their masks off or pulled down below their mouths.
Puffing on the device can spread coronavirus, experts say. “Infections may be passed to other smokers by sharing a hookah,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The NYPD patrol guide says smoking in uniform in public view is prohibited. The department declined to comment on the video.