BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Several Baltimore police officers visited Puerto Rico recently to help citizens affected Hurricane Maria.
The week-long humanitarian trip consisted of veteran cops who volunteered from Baltimore, New Jersey and Philadelphia police departments.
“It looked like a gigantic lawnmower came through it and ripped everything out. That’s how the hurricane took the island,” said Miguel Martinez, president of the Hispanic Officer Law Enforcement Association.
Martinez served as an officer in Baltimore for 12 years and 10 as a state police officer in Puerto Rico.
The group collected enough supplies to fill a truck and boarded planes at BWI with dozens of boxes filled with toys.
“You could see the face of joy of the kids, once they saw us out there delivering toys and at the same time delivering goods for the family,” said Miguel A. Rodriguez, VP of Holea.
The Maryland officers made sure to give back to their brothers and sisters in blue who had lost it all in the storm, even their uniforms.
“I know that if some day Maryland has a natural disaster, those officers will volunteer to help us over here because we helped them,” Martinez said.
“It makes me feel like I really belong in Baltimore City that they are really good-hearted officers that really care about people’s necessities,” said volunteer Juan Nunez of the Hispanic Organization of Leadership Advancement.
The officers say they hope to one day return to Puerto Rico and hope their visit inspires others to do the same.
Southwest Airlines donated the flights for the mission and Convoy of Hope helped to transport supplies from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico.