Puerto Rico police ‘ready’ for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the rest of the holidays
By John McPhaul
The Puerto Rico police will be enforcing Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced’s executive order over the long holiday weekend and into the holiday season to the full extent of the law, police spokesman Lt. Elvin Zeno said earlier this week.
“Police will intervene with unauthorized parties and we call on people not to meet in large groups as it has been shown that that is how the COVID-19 virus has been spread,” Zeno told the Star late Tuesday. “The regular police and the preventative police bureau will be patrolling the entire island.”
However, Zeno said the police are making a special request for the full cooperation of the public since the police force is shorthanded with some 400 police officers in quarantine because of the COVID-19 virus.
He said the police will intervene if parties are under way in plain view or if neighbors complain about crowded parties.
He acknowledged that police will have a difficult time intervening with parties on private property.
“Obviously if they have a party inside a house, it will be hard for us to tell if there are too many people there,” Zeno said.
Zeno said that with cooperation of the Puerto Rico National Guard, the police will be able to conduct preventive patrols across the island and in the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra.
The National Guard will be stationed mostly in the metropolitan areas and will call the regular police forces to intervene in any crime that they witness, Zeno said.
The Maritime Police Force will be patrolling the beaches as will the regular police patrols, he said.
“They will be vigilant to make sure that people at beaches are practicing sports and not just gathering, as dictated by the governor’s executive order,” Zeno said.
The police will also be on their toes to spot any businesses that violate the executive order stipulation requiring businesses to limit their capacity to 30 percent of the space in the store or restaurant.
Zeno encouraged the public to call the police with any information on violations of the law or the governor’s executive order at (787) 343-2020.