ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Local police departments are packing up equipment to send to Puerto Rico while the island continues to recover from Hurricane Maria.
Huge pieces are just some of the $900,000 worth of equipment being loaded up to go to Puerto Rico. Officers are loading up as they get ready to ship police equipment from across the state to Puerto Rico.
.@OrlandoPolice and @MaitlandPolice getting ready to load up surplus police equipment to send to Puerto Rico. Chief Rolon says he saw how desperately they need it after Hurricane Maria. #fox35 #GDO pic.twitter.com/yiZ5b2nROK— Lara Greenberg (@LaraGreenbergTV) April 16, 2019
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon came up with the idea when he visited his home island after Hurricane Maria.
“We saw that there was a great need for equipment that for us, we take for granted,” said Chief Rolon.
The shipment includes helmets, ballistic shields, tasers, computers and radio communication equipment.
“There are some parts of Puerto Rico that still don’t have this coverage,” said Chief Rolon.
The equipment is all department surplus. The shipping is paid for with police forfeiture funds, “money that we have taken from drug deals and what have you,” said Chief Rolon.
Cops spent Tuesday morning volunteering their time to make sure their Puerto Rican brothers and sisters in blue get what they need safely.
“To help them out it means the world to me. I bleed blue, and I will for the rest of my life,” said Orlando Police Sgt. Wayne Costa.
“It’s the right thing to do for us in the public safety profession, to take care of our brothers and sisters,” said Chief Rolon.
It’s going to take a few weeks to ship all of this equipment to Puerto Rico. They expect it to arrive in May.