TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida has donated 25 Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) vehicles to the Puerto Rico Police Department to support law enforcement needs and Hurricane Maria recovery.
Governor Scott said, “Since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last year, I have visited the island six times to offer guidance, assistance and support. We’ve made it a priority in Florida to aid Puerto Rico in their recovery from this devastating storm. I’m glad that the Florida Highway Patrol, on behalf of Floridians, has stepped up and honored a request to provide additional surplus police cruisers to the island. These 25 vehicles will assist law enforcement efforts as they work to rebuild. We will continue to do all we can to support Puerto Rico’s recovery.”
This announcement is part of a continued commitment from the state of Florida to assist Puerto Rico as they recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria. The vehicles had been out of circulation and were ready for surplus before they were donated. Per the state’s replacement criteria, FHP law enforcement vehicles may be taken out of circulation when they reach 80,000 miles or are eight years old. In November, 50 FHP troopers were deployed to Puerto Rico for one month to assist the Puerto Rico Police Department with security operations and traffic control needs.
“The Florida Highway Patrol is proud to continue assisting the Puerto Rico Police Department following Hurricane Maria,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “These donated vehicles are another way Florida is supporting the people of Puerto Rico in their recovery.”
Actions taken by Governor Scott following Hurricane Maria:
· On September 28th, at the request of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Governor Scott traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to help coordinate response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.
· On October 5th, the Governor entered into a host-state agreement with FEMA – Florida is the only state willing to enter into this type of agreement to help families displaced by Hurricane Maria.
· On October 11th, Governor Scott met with Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture Congressman Mike Conaway, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Congressman Michael McCaul, and Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón.
· On October 30th, the Governor’s office sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget. See the letter HERE.
· On November 3rd, Governor Scott led a delegation of Florida utility providers to Puerto Rico at the invitation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló.
· On November 9th, the Governor activated the State Emergency Response Team to assist families displaced by Hurricane Maria. See the Governor’s press release HERE.
· On November 15th, the Governor sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan urging them to support Florida’s efforts to support those displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. See the Governor’s letter HERE.
· On December 21st, Governor Scott spoke with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón regarding Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria.
· On December 22nd, Governor Scott spoke with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen regarding recovery efforts for Florida and Puerto Rico.
· On January 3rd, Governor Scott sent a letter to the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations urging the Senate to immediately pass a significant Hurricane Irma and Maria disaster relief package. See the Governor’s letter HERE.
· On January 11th, Governor Scott spoke with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long regarding the FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program and the importance of continued communication between federal, state and local partners as families continue to recover from Hurricane Maria.
· On January 12th, Governor Scott met with Governor Ricardo Rosselló and joined him for a Puerto Rico recovery town hall meeting to discuss ongoing relief efforts.
· On January 24th, Governor Scott, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, California Governor Jerry Brown and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló issued a joint letter urging the U.S. Senate to improve and expeditiously pass supplemental disaster funding, and for Congress to send the bill to the President. See the letter HERE.
· On February 5th, Governor Scott visited Puerto Rico with Governor Ricardo Rosselló to assist with ongoing Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.
· On February 7th, Governor Scott spoke with FEMA Administrator Brock Long regarding Governor Scott’s recent trip to Puerto Rico.
· On February 7th, Governor Scott announced a new partnership to connect families displaced by Hurricane Maria with jobs in Florida. See the announcement HERE.
· On March 5th, Governor Scott traveled to Puerto Rico to meet with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón and attend the Puerto Rico State of the State Address.
· On April 18th, Governor Scott met with Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón in Washington D.C. to discuss how Florida is working to help Puerto Rican evacuees in the state.
· On April 18th, Governor Scott also spoke with FEMA Administrator Brock Long to discuss the FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program and the importance of keeping the FEMA case managers the Governor previously requested on the ground across the state.
· On May 18th, Governor Scott announced that Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart would travel to Puerto Rico on May 20th to meet with Puerto Rico Department of Education Secretary Dr. Julie Keleher and offer continued guidance and support. See the Governor’s announcement HERE.
· On May 31st, Governor Scott traveled to Puerto Rico at the invitation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló to continue to offer guidance, advice and assistance regarding ongoing Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. During his visit, Governor Scott met with Governor Rosselló, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera-Marin, and Speaker of the House Carlos Johnny Méndez.