Shortly after 9 a.m., a caravan of Vermont State Police cruisers began a long Sunday drive.
The 11-person crew headed to New Jersey, where they'll offer law enforcement assistance following Super Storm Sandy. "Last year we were impacted, folks came in -- National Guard came in from all over the country. Now it's our time to give back and it's great feeling," said Vermont State Police Capt. Rob Evans.
At a briefing before the trip, Capt. Evans told those on the voluntary assignment they'll likely be deployed as early as Monday morning. They'll team up with 15 troopers from Maine and then split up into five to six man teams led by a New Jersey Trooper. "Checkpoints, anti-looting controls, security details, rural-based law enforcement," he said.
The troopers come from the traffic divisions of Vermont's largest barracks. Evans said their absence shouldn't hurt response at home, "Little to no impact here and that's the reason -- that's why we offered up 10 or 11 instead of taking 25 or 30 to make up a whole strike team, because we knew there would be somewhat of an impact if we put additional resources out there," he said.
The Vermont State Police last responded to an out-of-state emergency request in 2005, when Katrina struck the Gulf. This time troopers are expected to stay for about eight days, but Capt. Evans said those plans are flexible. "If they keep asking, I'm sure we'll keep helping as long as we can help," he said.
VSP Spokespeople said financial details can wait, and that they are hopeful the federal government picks up the tab for the state-to-state aid.
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