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Sheriff Grady Judd in the limelight again..say No registrant will be allowed in polk co. shelters

  • 06 Sep 2017 7:29 PM
    Message # 5066585
    John (Administrator)



    As Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, bears down on Florida, one sheriff's office has outlined a law enforcement strategy that critics say will discourage people from seeking shelter.

    In a series of tweets Wednesday, the office said that anyone who arrives at a shelter with an outstanding warrant would be taken to "the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail."

    The office wrote on Twitter that officers would be at each shelter, checking IDs, and that "sex offenders/predators will not be allowed."

    Brianna Glanson, a representative for the office, confirmed the accuracy of the policy to BuzzFeed News.

    "If you have a warrant and you go to a shelter, you’ll be taken to jail," she said. "Anyone with an outstanding warrant of any kind."

    Glanson did not immediately know whether the policy of ID checks applies in order to determine the status of undocumented immigrants.

    During Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, authorities repeatedly stressed that immigrants would not be questioned about their status, in the hopes everyone who needed shelter would be unafraid to come forward.

    On Twitter, people were quick to point out the possible consequences for public safety, with people potentially risking their lives to avoid arrest.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida responded to the policy, saying Sheriff Grady Judd was endangering lives, including those of first responders who would be tasked with rescuing anyone who stays out in the storm.

    Carrie Horstman, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, told the Orlando Sentinel that "officers are legally obligated to take a person into custody if they have a warrant" and said that the effort will allow residents to feel the shelters are safe.

    “We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in,” she said.

    Hurricane Irma Makes Landfall In The Caribbean As One Of The Most Powerful Atlantic Storms Recorded


    WINTER HAVEN, Fla. --

    "If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we'll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail."

    These are the words of the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Winter Haven, Florida, which tweeted out a series of confusing warnings as the state prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

    The string of four tweets at first seemed to claim officers will be checking IDs at shelters, and will turn away sex offenders and predators. However, subsequent tweets simply claimed anyone with a "warrant" would be targeted, and said fugitives should go to jail instead of shelters.

    "If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed," the first tweet reads.

    "If you have a warrant, turn yourself in to the jail -- it's a secure shelter," reads another.

    Confused and shocked Twitter users criticized the apparent message: That those with warrants of any kind will be, at least, turned away at shelters, and at worst, arrested.

    "Sex offenders don't necessarily have outstanding warrants," one critic pointed out.

    CNN has contacted the sheriff's office and was told a public information officer would call back with more information. The Daily Beast spoke with a representative from the sheriff's office, who said arrest was "a risk a person would run" if they showed up seeking shelter with an outstanding warrant.

    She clarified that the ID check would weed out the sex offenders AND would serve to flag any fugitives. "While we are checking, if we see someone with an active warrant we have to place them under arrest," she said, claiming that jail would be a safer bet than "to expose yourself to a Category 5 storm."

    Some Twitter critics pointed out that hundreds of inmates were abandoned in dangerous conditions after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. According to Human Rights Watch, 600 inmates in the Orleans Parish Prison compound were trapped in chest-deep water for four days before they were rescued from the flooded city.
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