Police Refuse To Shelter Sex Offenders During Hurricane Irma

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@C_ZMCARIB / Twitter

A police officer in Florida, USA, is refusing to shelter sex offenders as Hurricane Irma approaches.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says he is doing so in order to ‘protect children’.

Judd has also warned those rushing to gain protection from the 185mph winds, will have their IDs checked by officers, in case they have a warrant out for their arrest.

@PolkCoSheriff / Twitter

Judd wrote to his 65,000+ followers on Twitter:

If you go to a shelter for Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs [police officers] will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed.

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.

Before adding:

We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.

Users on the social media site have hit out at Judd’s comments, labelling them as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘inhumane’.

Some asked why he’d want to risk the lives of those wanted for minor offences such as traffic incidents.

Others simply accused the officer of being a hypocrite and refreshed his memory of a former Polk County officer, 40-year-old Russell Hilson, who resigned this weekend after he was arrested on charges of simple battery:

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman later told the Orlando Sentinel:

When checking IDs, if an officer sees that someone has a warrant, that person will be taken into custody.

Officers are legally obligated to take a person into custody if they have a warrant.

Hurricane Irma destroyed parts of the Caribbean early this morning and is said to be heading towards Puerto Rico and Florida.

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Donald Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, while officials in the Bahamas said they would evacuate the residents of six islands at the southern end of the island chain.

Mandatory evacuation is also under way in the Florida Keys, where Irma is due to land at the weekend.

Experts say the hurricane is now so powerful it’s registering on devices designed to detect earthquakes.


Anne-Marie Bojan

Anne-Marie Bojan

A sports enthusiast with a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism, who can be found predominantly at Villa Park. Having completed a Masters in Broadcast Journalism, she then went on to work at Sky Sports, the BBC, and the Mirror. When not engrossed in sport, it's animals, guitars, and Liam Gallagher which take main focus.