Sheriff Defends Hurricane Warrant Warning

Sheriff Defends Hurricane Warrant Warning

Sheriff Defends Hurricane Warrant Warning

Beneath a graying sky that foreshadowed the hurricane to come, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd shrugged.

"We are encouraging those with active warrants to turn themselves into the Polk County Jail-it is a safe and secure facility", she said.

But the sheriff has pressed the nail, in a final tweet: "We can't afford and we will not let the innocent children in a shelter with offenders and sexual predators. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed", read one tweet, using an acronym for "law enforcement officers". "Period", the sheriff's office officials wrote on Twitter.

The sheriff said the same goes for any criminals who have arrest warrants out for them.

"The tweet might have been semi tongue-in-cheek", she said during a Wednesday afternoon phone interview.

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Some tweeters wondered whether their unpaid parking tickets or a decades-old crime on their record could result in spending the night in a jail cell rather than on a FEMA shelter cot. He also stated sheriff's deputies would escort anyone with a warrant to the Polk County Jail.

An estimated 25,000 people or more left the Florida Keys after all visitors were ordered to clear out, causing bumper-to-bumper traffic on the single highway that links the chain of low-lying islands to the mainland. However, subsequent tweets simply claimed anyone with a "warrant" would be targeted, and said fugitives should go to jail instead of shelters.

Many internet users have immediately condemned the remarks made by the sheriff, accusing it of take advantage of the hurricane to make arrests.

"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.

"The message has already been received by the 18,000 undocumented persons in Polk County", Smith, a Democrat, told the Sentinel.

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