The municipal government of San Juan will maintain municipal and state police officers in the capital's urban centers and tourism areas during this weekend and throughout Easter, Mayor Miguel Romero reported.
"We are going to redouble our efforts during this weekend and Easter because the impression we have is that we are going to have many visitors and we have worked on the security plan in conjunction with the State Police in light of the reality that the Municipal and State Police have lost officers. We want to work together and, in that sense, what we are doing and will continue is for the Municipal Police focus on Old San Juan, La Perla, Condado and La Placita in Santurce," he stated.
The mayor also reported that a Municipal Police unit will be assigned to Loíza Street in view of the large number of tourists visiting the area..
"An executive order was signed that instructs the Municipal Police Commissioner to reinforce compliance with the Vehicle and Traffic Act and with municipal ordinances, for example, which prohibit skateboards or scooters from being left on the sidewalks or blocking sidewalks in areas where they are not allowed or traveling on the sidewalks, as I have been able to observe through the photos that I have received," Romero said.
As reported by THE WEEKLY JOURNAL, there has been growing concern among the public and officials over the misuse of motorized scooter rentals, for which one of the main companies that offers this service, Skootel, is taking extra precautions to ensure compliance with state and municipal regulations. In addition, the municipal government of San Juan warned that infractions will be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000.
Agreement With Business Owners
Romero mentioned that he met with the Old San Juan Merchants Association, given the possibility that an intermittent closure would have to be made.
"We agreed to have direct contact when these intermittent closings occur, to notify merchants. Also, to coordinate guest access to hotels, access for residents and that this is not affected, and if there is heavy traffic in those areas that it is not affected," he said.
Capital Entrepreneurship Program to support new and expanding businesses
He added that he did not have the number of agents who will be displaced to the different areas, but pointed out that on other occasions over 40 municipal agents have been assigned to La Placita in the Santurce area to control traffic and clear the area at closing time.
“In Old San Juan we have had just over 60 officers of the Municipal Police also to work with the closures and make sure that at the time of the curfew (due to COVID-19) people who are not residents leave those places," he said.
“We are fining and the Municipal Police have made arrests of tourists and residents of Puerto Rico in breach of the executive order (for COVID-19) and even for obstruction of justice. We are going to be rigorous because we do not want this to come close at all to what is happening in Miami (Florida)," Romero added.
Last weekend, a state of emergency was declared in Miami Beach and a curfew was set from 8:00 p.m. to the large number of people who visit the area and who refuse to comply with authorities.
- Giovanna Garofalo contributed to this story.