TRENTON – Due to the recent devastation to Puerto Rico as a result of severe earthquakes that struck the island, Governor Phil Murphy authorized a contingent of New Jersey State Troopers to be deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with recovery efforts.
On Wednesday, January 22, a seven-member advance team will fly from Newark International Airport to San Juan International Airport. The advance team’s objective will be to obtain supplies at FEMA Headquarters in Caguas before traveling to the Ponce region of the island where they will coordinate with local officials to prepare for a contingent of 50 State Troopers, which is scheduled to depart on Saturday, January 25 and to return on Sunday, February 9.
The deployment’s mission will consist of providing force protection at seven base camps that are currently housing between 2,000 and 5,000 residents on a daily basis. Additionally, troopers will be assigned to major traffic control posts within the city limits for the duration of the deployment.
Assistance is provided through the Emergency Management Assistant Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement allowing states and territories to share resources in response to natural and man-made disasters.
“Puerto Rico continues to be impacted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, and now the island is also facing the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, leaving many families displaced and without a sense of normalcy,” said Governor Murphy. “We will always stand with the people of Puerto Rico, and today, I have directed the New Jersey State Police to assist in emergency response efforts in order to help the people of Puerto Rico rebuild their homes and lives.”
"Our New Jersey State Troopers are always the first to step up and the last to step aside,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Just as they did in the wake of Hurricane Maria, they are deploying to help the people of Puerto Rico in their time of need. This skilled group will ensure that aid and relief supplies reach the most impacted people and areas of Puerto Rico.”
“Before we departed from the last of our deployments to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, we made a promise to local officials and residents that should they ever need us again, we would be there. Today we are making good on that promise,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We are deploying a highly skilled contingent of troopers that will be able to immediately integrate into the recovery efforts already in place.”