"This is 21st-century policing", Shea said at a news conference.
The investigation came after three Bronx officers, assigned to a protest detail in Lower Manhattan, became ill after drinking beverages from the restaurant. The officers noted the shakes tasted off and were taken to Bellevue Hospital.
Another police union, the Detectives Endowment Association, initially said they believed employees at the Shake Shack had intentionally poisoned the milkshakes, but soon walked back that assertion.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said his department will move toward more high tech, intelligence-based policing and away from "brute force".
Among those injured was Sgt. William Maher, who was struck by an SUV and was hospitalized for several days, police said.
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"When NYC police officers can not even take meal without coming under attack, it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level", PBA President Patrick Lynch wrote.
The officers had already ingested part of the beverages when they noticed a substance was in their drinks, the statement said.
"At some point during their meal period, the MOS [members of service] discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages", wrote Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of NY, in a letter to union members.
On Friday, numerous city leaders expressed their support for cutting the NYPD's 2020-2021 budget by $US1 billion amid ongoing protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. "We can not afford to let our guard down for a moment".
Shea said it was a policy shift and no reflection of the officers. "They will have to reckon with the consequences", Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said in a statement. All of them are expected to survive.
The mass reassignment, which follows a number of policing overhaul bills signed last week by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, is created to modernise the NYPD with a uniformed staff of more than 36 000, and build trust amid heightened racial tension, Shea said.