EDISON, NJ - Two township police officers are delivering a van loaded with relief supplies to southern Louisiana where seven days of prolonged rain in August caused severe flooding that forced tens of thousands of people from their homes, according to a press release from the township Tuesday.
Edison PBA Local 75 joined forces with municipal officials and town employees to sponsor a relief supply collection drive, accumulating clothing, diapers, toiletries, bedding, kitchenware, cleaning supplies, kitchen and bath products, non-prescription medicines and children's toys in bins at the municipal complex, the release said.
“We received many generous contributions from community residents, businesses and Town Hall employees,” Union President Michael Schwarz said in the release, adding that Police Chief Thomas Bryan and Mayor Thomas Lankey supported the union's effort.
“I am extremely proud of Edison's cooperative spirit and compassion that is bringing aid to people and families far away who lost their homes and possessions to a terrible natural disaster,” Mayor Lankey said in the release.
Officers Jennifer Aldahondo and Chelsea Richard left Monday evening on the 1,350 mile trip to bring supplies to the Baton Route Police Dept. and other area relief centers. Penske Truck Rental in Edison donated use of the van that the officers are driving to Louisiana, according to the release.
“Police work is about more than enforcing the law. It's about community service and it's about showing kindness and generosity,” Chief Bryan said in the release. “What our police department and these officers are doing demonstrates good police work.”
In the release, Aldahondo suggested the relief supply collection drive to the PBA after she learned Baton Rouge family members of two close friends had been effected by the devastating storm.
“I attended one of my friends' wedding in Baton Rouge this June. I felt I had to do something to help her family, their neighbors and other people I met,” Aldahondo said. “I am thankful to work for a police department and in a town that is so willing to offer its support and assistance.”
Nearly 30 inches of rain fell in southern and central Louisiana Aug. 10-17, dumping an estimated 7.1 trillion gallons, three times as much water as Hurricane Katrina, according to the release.
The storm killed 13 people and it destroyed or badly damaged over 45,000 homes and businesses, effecting over 80,000 people.
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