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Orlando Police Department Sends Patrol Cars to Puerto Rico to Help With Recovery Effort

Photo: Danielle Prieur
Photo: Danielle Prieur

The Orlando Police Department is donating 15 patrol cars to Puerto Rico on Friday.

The patrol cars are headed to the Police Department in Ponce, Puerto Rico. 

The Orlando Police Department is donating them as part of ongoing recovery efforts on the island since Hurricane Maria.

Chief Orlando Rolón says it’s crucial to continue to support officers there. 

“Well, I’m a very proud Puerto Rican and obviously here in Central Florida we have some estimates are over 300,000 US citizens from Puerto Rico who reside here in Central Florida. But aside from the fact that it’s Puerto Rico, we just like to help people.”

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Rolón says the OPD spends over 160 million dollars a year, whereas the department in Ponce spends about 6 million. And he says that's for a policing area of some 140,000 residents.

“We know for a fact that budgetarily they don’t have the funding available to them to make that possible, that is why they’re going through this process.”

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The department sent 12 officers to the island country in 2017 after the hurricane and in 2019, they sent analog radios and other much-needed equipment.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.