ORLANDO, Fla. — Stacked, wrapped and packed away, Orlando police officers and community members put police equipment into an 18-wheel truck.
- Orlando PD, other agencies collected police equipment for Puerto Rico
- Equipment includes shields, helmets, computers, police radio
- Chief Rolón said equipment will go to Northwest Puerto Rico
Everything being loaded is headed to Puerto Rico. Like many others in Central Florida, Ofc. Robert Andrews has ties to Puerto Rico. His grandparents lived there, and he knows the island well.
“To see it in the state that it was (in) when we went down after (Hurricane Maria), it was pretty sad. But the Puerto Rican community (is) very resilient,” the OPD officer said.
To help the efforts, the cities of Orlando, Maitland, and several others from across Florida collected the police equipment over the last year, including shields, bicycle helmets, computers, and even a police radio communication system. The total value is estimated at $900,000.
The equipment has been loaded on a barge and will arrive in Puerto Rico in early May. Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón was excited to share where exactly on the island the equipment will go.
“On the west part of the island is an area that pretty much has not been talked about a lot, and that is where we are sending this equipment, and that is where it was mentioned to us that there is a great need for the equipment,” Rolón said.
In total, eight municipalities located on the Northwest part of the island will receive the equipment. Those locations are Aguada, Aguadilla, Moca, San Sebastian, Isabela, Rincon, Anasco, and Quebradillas.
Rolón and Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz will travel to Puerto Rico for the official delivery. They want Puerto Ricans to know they won’t be forgotten.
The barge the equipment is sailing on was paid for with forfeiture money.