Reserve officers work to make San Juan streets safer

For 13 years JR Martinez has worked to serve and protect.

But a couple of years ago he had to give it all up as he battled cancer.

It was a tough move, but one Martinez said he had to make in order to get better.

Now he is cancer-free and back on the force, but as a reserve officer at San Juan Police Department and the newest addition of the recently formed Burglary of Apprehension Team.

Burglary of vehicles are crime of opportunity, Martinez explained. If a suspect sees a purse on the front seat or a CD player....they're out in less than 20 seconds."

Now it is the job of Martinez and the other reserve officers to stop the burglary before it happens.

"We're letting the patrol units do their job and get some of the stress off of them, Martinez said. We want to provide and extra sense of security. Most of these burglaries happen when people are away at work or running errands."

San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzales said they average about three burglaries of habitations a week and about four burglaries of vehicles a week.

He said, but utilizing these reserve officers, they hope to bring those numbers down.

"They're going to be focusing only on burglary apprehension."

Gonzales added, these officers work for the police department on a volunteer basis but are highly qualified for the job|they get the same training as a paid officer.