Governor: ‘Effort being made’ by law enforcement to stem crime wave
By The Star Staff
Despite the crime wave of the last couple of weeks on island streets, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday he will not make leadership changes in the Puerto Rico Police Bureau or the Department of Public Safety.
The governor said he is unhappy with the results of his administration’s anti-crime efforts, but he does not “in the least” envision changes at the top level of law enforcement agencies.
Pierluisi insisted that “here there is a common front between state and federal authorities to combat crime, including violence and drug trafficking.”
“Operations are taking place regularly and that can generate immediate violence, they have an immediate impact, because we do not want these criminal organizations [taking] lives,” he said.
In the early hours of Monday there were drive-by and car-to-car shootings reported in Arroyo, Manatí and Salinas.
While police personnel were carrying out a confidential investigation over the weekend to prevent criminal incidents at the hands of an organization suspected of multiple murders, there was an exchange of gunfire between several suspects and police officers at the Punta Salinas Resort in Toa Baja.
During the incident, two suspects were killed and 12 members of a drug ring were arrested.
In addition, during the operation, which is part of the government’s security plan, six weapons were seized -- all of them altered -- along with six vehicles, one of which was reported stolen.
After participating in a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Bayamón National Cemetery, Pierluisi said “yesterday there was another operation in which the people being intervened with basically confronted and challenged our police, so we see our police doing their job.”
“One cannot be satisfied, unless there is complete security throughout Puerto Rico, but the effort is being made,” the governor said.