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Thu Apr 2, 2020, 09:58 PM

Puerto Rico Shutters Police Stations Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - Puerto Rico on Tuesday closed its fourth police station in a week, raising concerns about the ability of the U.S. territory to respond to the coronavirus pandemic as officers accused the government of exposing one of the largest police departments in a U.S. jurisdiction to COVID-19.

More than 100 officers now remain quarantined as dozens of police await test results on an island that has reported eight deaths and more than 230 confirmed cases amid a month long curfew that has shuttered beaches, parks and non-essential businesses.

"It's not fair that the government is dragging its feet. What do they want? To be left without police officers?" said Gregorio Matias, vice president of a local police union who demanded more protective equipment.

The first police station to close is located in the popular tourist town of Rincon, where the 42-year-old wife of one officer recently died from COVID-19, according to health officials. A couple days later, authorities shuttered the police station in the eastern town of Aguas Buenas after one officer tested positive. On Tuesday, Public Safety Secretary Pedro Janer said another six officers in that station also tested positive and that a dozen more test results are pending.

Read more: https://www.caribbeannews.net/news/264507893/puerto-rico-shutters-police-stations-amid-covid-19-outbreak

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