Sheriff Offers Irma Shelter To Fugitives: A Jail

Marie Harrington
September 8, 2017

"You will be taken to a very secure shelter called the Polk County jail", the Facebook post wrote.

When netizens criticized Judd's decision to ban sex offenders in shelters, the sheriff responded: "We can not and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators". 'We can not and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators.

Since officers don't have a way of seeing what crime the warrant is for, it's possible those with non-violent misdemeanor offenses could be taken into custody, said Carrie Horstman, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office.

Judd said the motivation behind the policy is to keep those gathered in the shelters safe. Or they could choose not to turn themselves in and avoid the shelters altogether.

Polk County is a landlocked area between Orlando and Tampa, but the sheriff's office tweeted that the county's location does not guarantee safety from Hurricane Irma.

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- Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd put out a warning to sexual offenders and predators, and even those with outstanding warrants, that they're not welcome at evacuation shelters. The Category 5 storm with near record-breaking wind speeds in excess of 180 miles per hour is expected to hit Florida this weekend, but its precise track is still being determined, according to the Washington Post. There are 47 public shelters in the county, but they have not yet been opened to accept hurricane evacuees. You are using the phrase, 'people who are scared to go to jail.' If you have a warrant, legally you should be in jail.

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. Or, say, undocumented immigrants, of whom there are 450,000 living just in South Florida. "Good job", said another Twitter user.

Horstman said she hopes the effort will encourage residents to seek shelter in a place they know is secure.

Are you saying those without an ID will be turned away from shelter? "This is not the message we need to be sending out with a disaster upon us".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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