New York and New Jersey Troopers line up before taking flight to Puerto Rico
September brought, yet another, devastating natural disaster to Puerto Rico. Her name Fiona. Over 100 New Jersey and New York State Police (combined) were initially deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in late September. The mission was primarily humanitarian in nature with additional efforts focused on traffic detail, distribution of much needed water and food supplies, as well as individual welfare checks.
The Category 1 Hurricane, Fiona, resulted significant infrastructure damage as well as massive power outages and even an island wide blackout in the Southwest Region. In addition, a post-tropical cyclone only compounded the effects and resulted in catastrophic flooding and substantial winds. All this devastation to an already damaged area which was still recovering from a series of earthquakes in recent years.
New Jersey’s Governor Murphy recalled New Jersey’s own devastation after a Hurricane, when making a statement of understanding and compassion for those in Puerto Rico. Col. Patrick Callahan, the New Jersey State Police Superintendent sited the vow made during the recovery from Hurricane Maria (2017) that if Puerto Rico ever needed them again The New Jersey State Police would render assistance. Additionally, New York’s State Police also have a history of assistance with Puerto Rico and pledged ongoing assistance if needed. During this mission New York State Police were primary made up of Spanish speaking State Police to assist with the potential language barrier.
The initial troopers deployed to Puerto Rico have begun to, safely, return from their 2-week deployment. New York State Police Major Harold Litardo reported a warm welcome from the people and local government of Puerto Rico. He also praised the Puerto Rican police for their organizational efforts to outline where and what was needed from the NJ and NY state police. New Jersey State Police Major Chris DeMaise also described the genuine appreciation he and all the troopers felt as they provided assistance throughout the areas impacted the most.
To read more about the relief efforts link to the NJSP and NYSP Social Media Platforms.