Public safety bureaus add 782 fleet vehicles valued at $29 million
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia and Public Safety (DSP by its Spanish initials) Secretary Alexis Torres Ríos announced on Tuesday the purchase of 782 vehicles valued at $28,957,761 for the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (NPPR), the Firefighters Bureau (NCBPR) and the Emergency Medical Corps Bureau (NCEM).
“Today is another day of results in the security line,” the governor said at a press conference. “I remain highly committed to ensuring that all Department of Public Safety bureaus have the necessary resources to fulfill their mission of protecting, rescuing and caring for our people. For this reason, we are delivering multiple security and emergency vehicles, as well as assistance funds to our municipalities that are integrated into the 9-1-1 communications system.”
The governor noted that 353 vehicles for the NPPR are ready for delivery to be distributed among the 13 regions around the island, and another 398 are expected to arrive in the coming weeks, for a total of 751 units at a cost of $23,697,919. As for the NCBPR, 10 trucks and a tow truck were purchased at a cost of $2,840,019, while the NCEM received 20 ambulances at a cost of $2,419,823.
Torres Ríos pointed out meanwhile that “the mission of the Department of Public Safety is to be able to provide its units with the necessary tools to be able to carry out their work of providing security and well being to citizens.”
“With this delivery, we help police, firefighters and paramedics respond to emergencies more quickly, and thus be able to shorten the response time to an emergency,” he said.
NPPR Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa said the full purchase of units includes: 13 flatbed-type cranes, 88 Dodge Charger marked patrol cars and 136 unmarked cars, five Ford Expedition SUVs, three Jeeps, 56 Dodge Durango SUVs, and 235 Toyota Corolla and 215 Toyota Rav 4 SUVs for the Auxiliary Criminal Investigations Superintendency.
“We continue acquiring the necessary equipment so that my police officers have the tools they need to provide the security service that citizens expect and deserve,” López Figueroa said. “The renewal of the fleet will help us reinforce some important areas of work. Labeled units and phantom vehicles are essential for carrying out preventive rounds and patrols on public roads to prevent accidents, and in interventions with those who violate traffic laws and put their lives and those of other people at risk.”
NCBPR Commissioner Marcos Concepción said the new fleet of trucks complements the efforts to improve the working conditions of firefighters so that they continue to manage emergencies efficiently. He said 10 trucks and a crane were purchased for $2,840,019 and will be distributed at stations in the Sabana Grande, Maricao, Naranjito, Vega Baja, Guaynabo, Moca, Aibonito, Humacao, Adjuntas and Puerto Nuevo fire districts.