ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando and Maitland leaders as well as members of the Orlando Police Department gathered tons of equipment Tuesday to help law agencies in Puerto Rico.
From communication equipment, vests, ballistic shields, Tasers and radios, it's all part of the recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
"We know this is going to be very valuable for Puerto Rico especially the eight municipalities in west part of the island that is in dire need," Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.
Agencies from across the state, as far as Mexico Beach, also donated items.
Rolon and several officers witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria when they were deployed to assist Puerto Rican authorities shortly after the storm hit.
"As soon as we came back from Puerto Rico, we came back understanding there was a desperate need for anything that we can send back to help the agencies over there," Rolon said.
Rolon explained there are 13,000 law enforcement officers, not including all the municipalities in the island in need of equipment following the storm.
Helmets, ballistic vests, shields are among some of the equipment heading to Puerto Rico.
It will help dozens of officers in the island lacking equipment after Hurricane Maria.@news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/loG7L3GvVE — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) April 16, 2019
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Maitland Mayor Dale McDonald were there on Tuesday as officers prepared the truck full of equipment.
"We know what it’s like to receive after hurricanes or tragedies like Pulse, around the state, and around the world, so it pleases me to extend that same type of assistance for others in need," Dyer said.
More than 900,000 dollars worth of equipment for 8 municipalities in Puerto Rico with the help of @OrlandoPolice & @itsmymaitland.
It’s expected to arrive next month & @OrlandoPDChief will be in PR to distribute equipment. @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/pbKaReph2S — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) April 16, 2019
"It’s a treat to be here and even a bigger treat for city of Maitland to be able to participate in a effort like this collaboratively," McDonald said.
Rolon said they will be flying back to Puerto Rico next month to distribute the supplies to eight law enforcement agencies.
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