New Jersey called; Massachusetts answered.
The state of New Jersey asked for help with devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, requesting that nearby states send law enforcement officers to help keep peace and order in the hardest-hit areas of New Jersey.
On Saturday, a detachment of 25 troopers from the Massachusetts State Police was selected and sent, reporting to Fort Dix to be sworn in as police officers.
The Massachusetts State Police officers are working with Louisiana State Police and New Jersey State Police in areas including Brick, Ocean Park, Seaside Heights and Palisades Park in New Jersey.
Many of the MSP troopers are experienced with storm-related issues, especially after the destructive storms Massachusetts has experienced over the past two years.
But nothing has prepared them for what they have seen in New Jersey, says the MSP's Dave Procopio.
Troopers are reporting whole communities have been decimated, houses removed from their foundations, roads wiped out, cars completely covered in sand and area inhabitants have been displaced with little hope of getting back into their homes anytime soon.
The area is also rife with various environmental hazards. Sink holes are a constant danger with raw sewage and debris strewn everywhere. There's also the issue of people trying to retrieve their belongings from homes rendered unsafe from the storm.
Looting has been a problem for New Jersey authorities and, sadly, even contractors hired to help with storm damage, have been caught cutting and stealing copper piping. Part of the primary mission for law enforcement is to help keep the area clear until it can be rendered safe and keep others from exploiting the situation and looting their neighbors' homes.
At this time the mission has been planned for one week.