DORAL, Fla. – Nearly two dozen law enforcement agencies received a donation of protective masks Monday, thanks to the generosity of a wealthy businessman.
Officers came to pick up some of those masks at the Hispanic Police Officers Association office in Doral.
“While people are home and should be home, we’re out on the street and we need to protect ourselves,” said Joe Sanchez of the Florida Highway Patrol, who received a box of 250 masks to share with his fellow troopers. “We’ve seen officers that have already lost their lives.”
Maria Elvira Salazar, a longtime journalist running for Congress, said a friend of hers who owns Pro Insurance Consultants reached out to her looking to donate.
“A very good friend of mine called me and said,' I want to donate 10,000 masks, masks. What do you think I should do, Maria? And I thought, well, you need to give this to the first responders,” she said. “I feel very good, very gratifying to know that we could be saving lives.“
They’re KN95 masks, which the FDA has approved as an alternative to the N95 masks that have been in short supply during the coronavirus pandemic.
Police agencies at the University of Miami, Florida International University and in Opa-locka were among those receiving them Monday.
“Although our university is closed, we’re still a 24/7 operation," said FIU police captain Alberto Alberto. "We’re helping the testing facility next to Tamiami Park, and we’re constantly in contact with students that were not able to fly out because of the travel restriction.”