When most people think about responders to a natural disaster National Guard troops and firemen are usually what come to mind, but the police are also an invaluable part of the effort – as they were during and after ‘Superstorm’ Sandy.
Law enforcement professionals have been stretched to the limit in large metropolitan areas like New York City and 24-hour shifts have been standard operating procedure for many police officers there, but the NYC police are renowned for their commitment to their city and its inhabitants.
The story of NYPD Officer Artur Kasprzak, who saved seven members of his family from drowning in his Staten Island home before succumbing to the cold flood waters himself, is a reminder to New Yorkers and the rest of the nation of the dedication and professionalism of the city’s law enforcement.
Of course, fraternity is a hallmark of law enforcement life that extends far beyond the borders of NYC or New Jersey, and many states have sent troopers to the East Coast to help their fellow officers in blue. Vermont, Louisiana and even Michigan police departments have sent troopers to more ravaged areas on the coast to help lend a hand.
Saving people from floodwaters and directing people to safety on the roads is only a small part of a police officer’s job during a natural disaster. Local police departments are instrumental in dealing with the opportunistic crime that often erupts in the aftermath of storms. Reports of burglaries surged after the storm as did reports of other types of criminal activity, although the positive news is that major crime has appeared to drop.
Law enforcement aid is needed now more than ever as the East Coast attempts to recover from the storm. Gas shortages and the depletion of other resources means that their jobs have really only just begun, and they will need as much support as possible while the damage is repaired.