Release Date: February 18, 2021
Release Number: NR 488
GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – The recent award of $1.3 million by FEMA to the Puerto Rico Police seeks to address damages caused by Hurricane María to various police facilities throughout the island. This obligation brings to $45 million in FEMA funds earmarked for repairing stations, replacing essential police equipment and video system equipment on roads.
According to the federal agency, part of the recently obligated funds is for the acquisition of computers, maintenance and repair equipment for patrol cars and other essential items for some 47 police stations.
"Public safety is one of the main pillars of the country that preserves freedom, order and peace in our communities. Our efforts in advancing recovery are essential to carry out this important social function," said Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, José Baquero Tirado.
Similarly, the multi-million-dollar allocation also includes more than $660,000 to repair the interior of the San Juan police headquarters. The improvements include the replacement of wood ceiling panels, cubicles and security systems in the facility. In addition, an allocation of nearly $62,000 to repair the structure and physical plant supports the permanent work approved for the Police Bureau's command center, which has some 22,000 employees, over half of whom are active police officers.
In addition, over $123,000 will be used to replace around 63 closed-circuit security cameras along Baldorioty de Castro Ave. This equipment is indispensable to assist police officers in their investigative efforts.
"Our police officers need and deserve to have adequate places to work. It is equally important that they have the tools to help them fulfill their mission of saving lives and protecting property. We appreciate FEMA's work in awarding these obligations that will help support public safety in Puerto Rico," said Department of Public Safety Secretary-designate Alexis Torres Ríos.
Funds were also earmarked to rehabilitate facilities at the Rescue Unit and Air Unit of the Isla Grande Airport and the Intelligence Section of the Special Weapons and Tactics Division (SWAT), both belonging to the Joint Forces of Rapid Action division, known as FURA. These obligations of approximately $30,000 and $7,000, respectively, will enable them to acquire electronic equipment and furniture that was destroyed by the hurricane.
Manuel A. Laboy Rivera, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, emphasized that "the Puerto Rico Police is the first front of protection for our people in times of social crisis and natural disasters. Our team at COR3 will provide the necessary assistance to guarantee the development of the projects under this new obligation."