Florida Sheriff's Office Will Check For Warrants At Hurricane Shelters

Jerome Frank
September 8, 2017

A Florida sheriff drew ire from residents and other county sheriffs when he threatened to arrest fugitives seeking shelter ahead of Hurricane Irma.

He also wrote that sex offenders and sex predators would be barred from entering the shelters. "Most people with outstanding warrants are dealing with low-level and nonviolent offenses", the statement read, posing no risk to people seeking refuge in emergency shelters.

In an interview with Fox 13, the sheriff reiterated that his Twitter posts are meant to give a fair warning for those who were issued with warrants since they still have several days to sort out their infractions before they choose to stay in a shelter.

In the event that a serious storm event causes local shelters to open, the account tweeted, "If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs".

In the end, Sheriff Judd reiterates, if someone has an outstanding warrant, something small like traffic tickets, they should take care of it now.

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Complaints about the bold vow seem to be coming mostly outside Polk County, given Judd is an incredibly popular sheriff. "We aren't sitting there looking for people to arrest", she said, the Sentinel reported. Polk County has an estimated population of more than 660,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "If you have a warrant, turn yourself into the jail and if you are a predator, find somewhere to go". The Department of Homeland Security says it will not use shelters to catch undocumented immigrants.

The practices of law enforcement officials and immigration authorities during life-threatening storms have frequently come under scrutiny, as happened during Hurricane Harvey in Texas and in 2012 during Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana. "Good job", said another Twitter user.

"In a time of potential disaster, there needs to be a place that you can run to and absolutely know you're safe", said Judd.

Horstman said the office did something similar in 2004.

Are you saying those without an ID will be turned away from shelter? As does whether or not there'll be a Polk County left when Irma is done with it.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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