Puerto Rico activates National Guard in crime war

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

About 1,000 National Guard soldiers will report for duty Saturday in Puerto Rico, activated by the governor this week to help fight a drug-fueled crime tsunami that has flooded the Caribbean island.

The military personnel will repair police cruisers and join local authorities on patrols in the most crime-ridden areas of Puerto Rico, mainly in poor parts of the commonwealth’s largest cities. One soldier will accompany a police officer on each patrol, said the National Guard chief, Maj. Gen. Antonio Vicens.

“The problem that exists now is that the police are short of personnel,” Vicens said. “What we are going to do solely is to help them. First, we are going to help them with mechanics, provide them with more than 100 mechanics so that their fleet of patrol cars can go out on the street. Once we have that, we are going to have joint preventive patrols.

“You won’t see military vehicles on the street. What you’ll see are police patrols on the street…”

Gov. Luis Fortuno announced the call-up in his annual state of Puerto Rico speech Monday night, saying the help is needed until more officers can be trained. He did not set a timetable.

In a separate development, Fortuno announced Tuesday that U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez Velez had reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and the Puerto Rican Police Department for the federal agency to have jurisdiction over a series of major crimes. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and more stringent federal U.S. laws can apply…

Rodriguez said the agreement will streamline the prosecution of cases and allow federal agents immediate access to some crime scenes.

“We feel very strongly about fighting crime,” she said Thursday. “It’s much better to fight crime together. This is an additional crime-fighting measure.”

There certainly seems to be enough crime to fight, eh?

5 thoughts on “Puerto Rico activates National Guard in crime war

  1. dannyboy says:

    Now there is a gutsy leader, using his troops for the right purpose to strenghthen the police force and protect their borders, to eradicate the lawlessness and drug bandits who couldn’t care less about any one or thing but themselves. This is what the democratic countries should be doing, using their troops at home instead of being murdered in foreign lands, but they haven’t got the savvy or nerve.

  2. Cinaedh says:

    I wonder, one-on-one in a police vehicle, what are the odds the miserably-paid national guardsmen are going to make honest citizens out of the bribe-rich cops versus the bribe-rich cops corrupting the miserably-paid national guardsmen?

    It’s a tough one to figure out, alright.

    Hey, it worked in Mexico, didn’t it? Now the drug lords can have their own real, well-equipped army! I can see where this is going make thing a lot better in Puerto Rico.

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