Polk County’s Sheriff endangers citizens and subverts relief efforts via Twitter

(TFC) – The Sheriff of Polk County, Florida endangered citizens, subverted relief efforts, and increased chances of looting in his community with a single Tweet today. In the hopes of portraying himself as a tough, no-holds-barred kind of Sheriff, he tweeted he would have his deputies checking IDs at shelters to find people with warrants. Like most recent actions done by law enforcement to appeal to the “law & order crowd”, he showed himself to be completely unfit for the office he now holds, while only managing to convince the dumbest of his constituents he was doing a good thing.

Checking for warrants might seem like a good idea on the surface until you think about what shelters are actually supposed to do. The purpose of a shelter is to limit the number of people dispersed over a large area who might become victims of a disaster and therefore require emergency assistance. Now, someone with an unpaid traffic ticket is likely to stay away from shelters during the storm for of fear of being arrested. These people will now need rescue in the event of flooding. These additional persons, who could have been out of harm’s way, will instead be tying up emergency services and delaying rescue and recovery, all so the Sheriff can look cool on the internet. I’m sure the firefighters and emergency medical services of Polk county would prefer to limit the number of people exposed to danger, but alas the Sheriff must be seen as a tough guy.

While considering the hardened criminals who might assault or rob other citizens during this time of need, we must now note the Sheriff has told them not to come to shelters and they will instead be roaming the streets, perhaps looking for victims. In the same Tweet he managed to warn any serious criminals in the area of how to avoid getting arrested, he also told them his deputies would be tied up checking IDs at shelters, rather than doing any patrols.


If the sexual predators the Sheriff seems so concerned about strike a family member of yours during the storm, remember, the Sheriff told them how to avoid getting arrested and that your family would be virtually unprotected while his deputies harassed citizens looking for help.

If the Sheriff actually plans on having deputies at the shelters, perhaps it would make more sense to have them walking around to deter or stop any confrontations between citizens, rather than occupying their time staring at IDs and tying up communications running names for warrants.

The next time this gentleman runs for office, remember Grady Judd was more concerned about his internet reputation than with protecting your family.

Dave Conner, Flickr, Creative Commons (image cropped and framed)