Bloomington Police plans to send four officers and two patrol cars to New Jersey to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. (WJBC file photo)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The Bloomington Police Department is preparing to send help to the East Coast to help with the clean up from Hurricane Sandy.
According to department spokesman Dave White, four officers and two patrol cars will be heading to New Jersey.
The call came from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) to send 250 police officers, vehicles, and equipment from Illinois to New Jersey to assist the overmatched police force in cleanup and general peacekeeping duties. As of now, no date of departure or return is known.
"Most likely it's not going to come in the next day or two; it could be middle of the week for sure," said White. "There's also the possibility ILEAS calls and says 'Stand down, we have it under control.'"
White said the names and ranks of the officers will not be released.
"With all these guys, I don't think there are family issues to worry about, but I don't know if the department will swap them out if it turns into an extended stay. The chief could send four different guys, but that's down the line," said White.
Bloomington PD is being asked to hold off deploying the officers until a second wave is sent. White said it would be unlikely that any more officers and equipment will be sent to assist with the cleanup and daily assistance in basic law enforcement.
New Jersey authorities are currently overwhelemed with the added emergency work all along the coast. White added that the department should not see any problems with losing multiple officers for an extended period of time.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.