TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy announced today that he has authorized a second contingent of New Jersey State Troopers to be deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with on-going recovery efforts in the aftermath of several earthquakes that have devastated the island.
“Just over a week ago, a group of New Jersey State Police troopers was deployed to assist with emergency response efforts in Puerto Rico following the recent destructive earthquakes,” said Governor Murphy. “Those brave men and women will soon be returning home, and I thank them for dedicating themselves to helping their fellow Americans. I am also proud to announce that this week an additional contingent of troopers will go to Puerto Rico to continue assisting the island in recovery efforts. New Jersey will continue to stand with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.”
The second deployment is comprised of 57 troopers. A five-member advance team will depart for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, February 5 and the remaining 52 troopers will depart on Saturday, February 8. They will fly from Newark International Airport to San Juan International Airport and travel to the Ponce region of the island where the first deployment has set up operations.
The second deployment will continue the mission of providing security at various camps established for residents throughout the region who have been displaced from their homes due to the earthquakes. Members of the first deployment have been working with local officials to identify the needs of residents in the camps and assist with public safety and logistical operations.
Assistance provided during the second deployment is a result of an extension of the original Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a mutual aid agreement allowing states and territories to share resources in response to natural and man-made disasters.
The first deployment, which departed on Saturday, January 25, is scheduled to return on Sunday, February 9.
“This second deployment of troopers to Puerto Rico continues the long tradition of the New Jersey State Police standing up for others in their time of need,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “I am particularly proud that in addition to helping our friends and neighbors in Puerto Rico recover from the physical damage caused by the recent earthquakes, our Troopers are also building new bridges between law enforcement and the communities they serve through their compassion and by always going above and beyond.”
"Although our primary mission thus far in Puerto Rico has been focused on security and law enforcement, what makes me most proud is how our troopers have connected so compassionately with the people they are serving," said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. "This mission has offered our Outfit yet another opportunity to, what I refer to as, 'humanizing the badge' and the dedicated service and compassion demonstrated by our troopers is what ultimately leads to instilling public trust both here and abroad."