Houston Matters

HPD Officers Return From Puerto Rico: Watch Some of The Things That They Did There

After helping with recovery from Hurricane Maria HPD officers return to Houston.

Some Houston Police officers have returned from Puerto Rico. The officers were helping with Hurricane Maria recovery efforts in the town of Ponce. The HPD officers left Houston on November 2, 2017.

51 officers returned back to Houston Sunday night, the remaining officers are scheduled to return next week.

At the first deployment in early November, Assistant Police Chief Pete Lopez said about 50 Houston police officers are Puerto Ricans, but many more wanted to help.

“All of these officers here volunteered to go. We had over 200 officers volunteer, so it was hard trying to pick just 25.”

Captain Patricia Cantu was one of the volunteers. She said the local police force also needed basic supplies.

“We’ve been able to offer them the water, the mosquito spray, which some of the officers didn’t have when we got there, or even the protective vests when they were directing traffic, so it became a very dangerous issue for them. I believe like nine of them got hit.”

Captain Cantu said that things are slowly returning to normal in the cities, although rural areas are still having problems.

MORE: Captain Cantu’s Full Interview on Houston Matters

“But for the most part, the electricity is coming back slowly but surely. They are still having issues with the lights and a lot of accidents. They haven’t upgraded lights since 1940, so that’s going to be a lot of work.”

Cantu said since Puerto Rico is an island, it’s been harder to recover since supplies have to come by boat or air.

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