García Padilla: I’ll use troops on crime
The freshman senator made that pledge while outlining an “immediate intervention” plank in his anti-crime platform.
Declaring an islandwide emergency would allow him to redirect resources to public security agencies, he said.
García Padilla said he would deploy National Guard troops on a crime-fighting mission on January 2, which is the day that island governors are traditionally sworn in after November elections.
Starting with Pedro Rosselló, every Puerto Rican governor since – Sila Calderón, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá and Luis Fortuño – has activated the citizen soldiers to fight crime at least once during their tenures.
With the economy showing modest signs of recovery, García Padilla has been pushing crime as his key campaign issue.
García Padilla said he would increase the number of officers assigned to the Police Department’s United Forces for Rapid Action (FURA) to 25 percent and give the tactical arm a budget of $400 million by diverting more of the existing budget and finding new recurring revenue streams.
He said $100 million would be spent on acquiring new technology and equipment for the 17,000-member Police Department.
FURA would get a unit dedicated to responding to home invasion robberies and domestic violence cases, another unit to track down gunfire, a SWAT team and expanded marine and maritime patrols.