San Juan – The Commissioner of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, Henry Escalera Rivera, reported on Friday that they are ready to execute the Work and Safety Plan drawn up for the General Elections to be held next Tuesday, November 3.
“The Police Bureau has the duty to enforce the rights of citizens and the right to vote is a fundamental one. With this plan, we make sure to guarantee the safety of the people who go to the polling stations, the officials who are working in them and we ensure that the process flows safely, in accordance with the laws and regulations. During the process, we will maintain an active police presence and provide preventive surveillance to avoid vandalism or acts contrary to the Law, ”the commissioner said in written communication.
Escalera Rivera explained that four phases were established for the execution of this work plan in order to achieve a better result.
The first phase began on Friday, September 25, when personnel assigned to the Highway Patrol Bureau provided escorts to the vehicles that transported the ballots from the printing place to the Roberto Clemente de Hato Rey Coliseum.
In addition, they reported that in the second phase they worked with the escort of ballots to the Permanent Registration Boards (JIP) for work related to early voting.
In this phase, which began on October 23 and lasts until November 1, ballot escorts are carried out for votes at home, regular advance, confined and hospitals.
The third phase will take place on Tuesday, November 3, when citizens will exercise their right to vote in the different colleges established by the State Elections Commission (CEE).
The fourth and final phase includes everything related to security for the return of materials to the EEC between November 3 and 4, 2020.
“As part of the continence measures and to reinforce security, the shifts for the uniformed officer over the next few days will be twelve hours. During this period, preventive surveillance will be carried out at the 91 Permanent Registration Boards, the CEE headquarters, its Operations Center, including the Roberto Clemente Coliseum and the 1,365 voting centers. In the same way, the supervisors have made the necessary adjustments to guarantee that each colleague can exercise their constitutional right to cast their vote, ”the official said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that each of the thirteen police areas will have an Electoral Coordinator in charge of organizing the work with the EEC.
These coordinators will be officers with the rank of Second Lieutenant onwards.
On the other hand, on each shift there will be available personnel assigned to the Criminal Investigation Corps.
These officers will attend to any complaint or proposal of violation of the Electoral Law, or of a criminal nature, according to the procedures.
The Canine Unit and the Explosives Division will be activated together with other specialized units to provide cooperation and assist in prevention and security work in general.
“We remind citizens that while exercising their right to vote they must observe physical distancing measures and wear masks at all times, to prevent contagion with COVID-19. In addition, they must bear in mind that at 10 pm the curfew comes into force, as provided in Executive Order 2020-077 ”, concluded the Chief of Police.