Sheriff says sex offenders, predators won't be allowed in hurricane shelter

Sheriff says sex offenders, predators won't be allowed in hurricane shelter

Hurricane Irma - one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded - is likely to hit South Florida on Sunday morning.

"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".

'This could easily be the most costly storm in United States history, which is saying a lot considering what just happened two weeks ago, ' said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami.

The office specified on Twitter that officers would be at each shelter, checking IDs, and that "sex offenders/predators will not be allowed". If their name shows up as a registered sex offender, they will not be allowed inside the shelter. The article said Horstman authored the tweets on behalf of the sheriff's office.

He tweeted on Wednesday (6 September): "If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs [law enforcement officers] will be at every shelter, checking IDs".




"I could understand why he's making that decision, but I could also understand why they're voicing their opinion also", said Kimberly Jackson, of those opposing the sheriff's comments.

"So basically this guy is encouraging anyone with a warrant, which are issued for things such as outstanding parking tickets, to risk death?" another Twitter user wrote.

When asked further about the stance, the Polk County Sheriff's Department clarified its position to the Daily Beast. "We don't arrest people people for simple traffic offenses". Polk County has an estimated population of more than 660,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's the same approach they took with Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Or, say, undocumented immigrants, of whom there are 450,000 living just in South Florida.

"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 defended the policy.

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