SAN DIEGO — Following the aftermath of the deadly wildfires in Maui, San Diego law enforcement agencies are helping victims of the blaze, including county police officers who lost their homes.

“They were out working the fires when they lost their homes, and they were out saving lives and making sure people were evacuated,” said Sgt. Jared Wilson, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association. “The officers working the ground, they’ve been working almost nonstop since it occurred.”

Coping with the loss of a community and the destruction of their own homes, Maui law enforcement officers have been stretched thin — a desolate reality facing many residents of a historic Hawaiian town that was razed to the ground in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

Now, Wilson and his organization are working to help raise $10,000 to help a handful of police officers — nine active and two retired — who completely lost their homes in the Lahaina fires.

“You can’t really save your own house or do a lot for your own property, but you’re out there doing whatever you can for the community at large,” said Wilson.

Even for the San Diego Police Department, the devastation has felt close to home — one former colleague losing a family member in the inferno.

“One of our retired detectives lost his sister-in-law,” Wilson explained. “He’s flown out there actually to help in the recovery and help his brother, who has lost his wife and their home.” 

Wilson said the detective’s loss has been felt department wide: “It’s a horrible tragedy and it’s one that we know closely especially given the amount of fire we have in San Diego County, as well.” 

As thousands, including several Maui County law enforcement officers are now displaced and plagued with uncertainty, San Diego police hope to leave our neighbors across the pacific with a message:

“You are our brothers and sisters, we love you. American law enforcement is the best law enforcement in the world and we’re going to make sure that we take care of them, we thank them for their service and when they have a loss, we all have a loss.” 

Sgt. Jared Wilson, President of the San Diego Police Officers Association

Anyone who would like to donate to the SDPOA fundraiser can do so by visiting their website.

As of Monday, Wilson said SDPOA is just $1,000 short of their $10,000 goal.