Police receive $16.7 million payment for overtime
By John McPhaul
Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced, Public Safety Secretary Pedro Janer and Police Bureau Commissioner Henry Escalera announced on Wednesday the payment of $16.7 million in overtime to members of Puerto Rico’s police force.
“During the emergency that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the police are part of the first line of defense that the Puerto Rican people have to preserve their safety. Our officers have been fighting the battle, including risking their own lives, to ensure compliance with executive orders that seek to safeguard public health with measures of physical distancing, use of masks and various initiatives in commercial establishments,” Vázquez said. “We recognize your commitment to the Puerto Rican people and we appreciate your dedication. Thanks to all of you.”
The Public Safety secretary noted that the payment was disbursed to 6,877 officers and corresponds to overtime worked as of March.
“In the Police Bureau and the Department of Public Safety, we keep working to continue paying the overtime worked by our police officers, as has been the commitment of Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced,” Janer said. “The work carried out by our colleagues is hard and sacrificial, especially in times of emergency.”
For his part, Escalera stressed that “in the midst of this pandemic, several colleagues have been infected and others have lost their lives.”
“Despite the painful situations, the staff maintains its firm commitment to protecting our people even in times of greatest difficulty,” the island police commissioner said. “Our guiding principle will always be to do justice to the uniformed [officers] and recognize their work.”