TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Dozens of New Jersey State troopers will be heading Puerto Rico this weekend to help with recovery efforts after a series of devastating earthquakes struck the island. Gov. Phil Murphy has authorized the deployment of 50 state police troopers.
The troopers are scheduled to arrive on Saturday and will return on Feb. 9.
During their time in Puerto Rico, they will provide force protection at seven base camps that are currently housing between 2,000 and 5,000 residents. They will also help out at major traffic control posts.
“Puerto Rico continues to be impacted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, and now the island is also facing the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, leaving many families displaced and without a sense of normalcy,” said Murphy. “We will always stand with the people of Puerto Rico, and today, I have directed the New Jersey State Police to assist in emergency response efforts in order to help the people of Puerto Rico rebuild their homes and lives.”
Before their arrival, a seven-member advance team will fly from Newark International Airport to San Juan International Airport on Wednesday. The team will pick up supplies at the FEMA Headquarters in Caguas before traveling to Ponce to meet with the troopers.
“Our New Jersey State Troopers are always the first to step up and the last to step aside,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement. “Just as they did in the wake of Hurricane Maria, they are deploying to help the people of Puerto Rico in their time of need. This skilled group will ensure that aid and relief supplies reach the most impacted people and areas of Puerto Rico.”