LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Six Las Cruces police officers will leave on Friday to assist with the devastation in Puerto Rico, according to the department.
The bilingual officers will be deployed for 14 days, returning on November 25. They had originally planned to leave on October 6th, but their trip was placed on hold by the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management one day prior to leaving the country, according to the department.
"They're leaving their families. I want to thank their families for allowing them to go, especially as the holidays approach, to help those in need," said Las Cruces City Manager Stuart Ed.
Sgt. Thaddeus Allen, Sgt. Jaime Quezada, Officer Manny Soto, Officer Jose Prado, Officer Joshua Herrera and Officer Charlie Velasco will make the trip.
"I've been doing this for 21 years and my goal has always been to help people," said Sgt. Jaime Quezada, "So, this is just up in that level. After 21 years, you see a lot. I'm ready to see what's next."
"The community wants to help, wants to be a part of stuff, and everybody's been supportive," said Sgt. Thaddeus Allen, a nine-year veteran of department, "I've been getting phone calls from people, saying, 'Good job. Be safe.' They want us to go help."
Congress has provided close to $5 billion in aid to the island, but local authorities estimate the island suffered $45 to $95 billion in damage, according to ABC News. The storm has essentially obliterated the island's power grid.