• The San Juan Daily Star

Nearly $7 million in new vehicles delivered to police, firefighters

By John McPhaul

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Monday delivered 141 vehicles valued at almost $7 million to the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, and eight trucks to the Firefighters Bureau with an investment of over $2 million.

In addition, he announced that as part of the Comprehensive Security Plan, the Police Highway Patrol Division has established a strategic plan to address the incidence of deaths caused by accidents on island roads.

“Public safety is an important priority for my administration and for all of Puerto Rico, as it is an essential element of our quality of life,” the governor said during a press conference at the Puerto Rico Police Academy in Gurabo, where he was accompanied by Public Safety Secretary Alexis Torres, Police Commissioner Antonio López, Fire Commissioner Iván Moreno and Traffic Safety Commission Director Luis Rodríguez. “To those ends I have been adamant that our first responders need to have the resources and the equipment they need to be able to do their job well and ensure the safety of our people. That is why we continue to deliver new vehicles for security and emergency [use] that are extremely necessary to modernize our fleet and serve our people.”

The delivery included 13 flatbed tow trucks for a total cost of $1,313,897, which will be assigned to the Traffic Bureau and 11 police regions.

In addition, 97 Dodge Charger patrol cars at a cost of $4,351,808 were delivered to the Highway Patrol Division.

Some 28 Chevrolet “van” trucks will be delivered to the Community Relations Bureau offices around the island with an investment of $1,013,852, and $264,114 was invested in the acquisition of three Dodge cargo trucks for police use.

“The [Highway Patrol Division’s strategic] plan contains a series of tactics and new resources,” the police commissioner said, stressing that more vehicles are to be delivered in the coming months. “Among these, vigilance will be increased in the areas with the highest incidence of fatal crashes, increasing interventions with high-risk drivers, such as driving at excessive speeds, under the influence of alcohol, not using a seat belt and using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Also, the number of troops for the Highway Patrol Division will be increased. The Comprehensive Security Plan contemplates as a strategy, intervention on the highways with individuals who maintain constant criminal activity, as a mechanism to reduce crime. The use of these ‘phantom’ patrols is to discourage high-risk infractions by drivers.”

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