Osceola County sheriff’s deputies with ties to Puerto Rico ready to help quake recovery

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said they want to help Puerto Ricans recover after a powerful earthquake rocked the territory.

Sheriff Russ Gibson said the department have a number of deputies who have family in Puerto Rico. Gibson said the department also serves many people who live in the community who have family on the island.

“I’ve been shown pictures of the devastation there, churches going down, buildings, houses," Master Deputy Sheriff Ronald Barretto said. “It’s worse than I can imagine.”

Deputies from the Sheriff's Office know what those in Puerto Rico are experiencing in the aftermath of the earthquake.

[RELATED: 5 ways to help Puerto Rico in wake of earthquakes]

Major Jacob Ruiz has family in Puerto Rico and says, luckily they are OK. However, he said most of the island lost power.

Ruiz also said that his dad's business is located in the western part of the island and has been impacted by the aftershocks.

Gibson said this is just one example that makes volunteering personal for him and the department.

“You feel like it’s happening right here in Florida, you’re just a part of that, and to see the concern and worry on our employees’ faces is devastating,” Gibson said.

Deputies told News 6 they are ready and willing to head out and serve, and Gibson said his office has been in communication with the Puerto Rican government.

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