Florida Sheriff Warns Sexual Predators as Irma Nears: “We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.”

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is clarifying to sexual offenders that their record is not magically erased once Hurricane Irma makes landfall. It is doing exactly the opposite for these criminals.

The sheriff tweeted: “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.”

Judd later said: “We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.”

Judd initially posted that officers would be sent to every shelter to check IDs.

This is exactly what needs to happen. Often times in crisis, we forget about those who want to do us harm. With law enforcers doing their jobs, keeping the criminals out, it will help citizens in the shelters to maintain a level of safety during their struggle.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, this sheriff is known for being outspoken.

“Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed,” the tweet said.

Carrie Horstman, a spokeswoman for the office, confirmed officers would be checking IDs and will arrest those with a warrant. Horstman said it would not be possible for the officers to see what the warrant is, so it was possible some people with non-violent misdemeanor offenses could be taken into custody.

“Officers are legally obligated to take a person into custody if they have a warrant,” Horstman told The Orlando Sentinel.

The spokeswoman said a similar order was issued in 2004.

“I was just trying to keep people informed ahead of time,” Horstman said. “We can’t allow sexual predators in the centers and shelters.”

The ACLU of Florida criticized the move and said Judd “should focus on preparing for Irma, not burnishing your Joe-Arpaio-style ‘tough cop’ credentials with irresponsible tweets.”

The fact that they think looking out for the safety of children is ‘irresponsible’ is mind-boggling.

Arpaio, a former sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, was found guilty of criminal contempt for allegedly defying a judge’s 2011 order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. Arpaio, who was dubbed “America’s toughest sheriff,” had been previously accused of a number of civil rights violations against Latinos. President Trump pardoned Arpaio last month.

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., when asked about the issue stated: “I haven’t seen that. My expectation is that everyone needs to follow the evacuation orders and get to safety. I’d have to look at exactly what was said,’’ he said.

Rep. Carlos Smith, D-Fla., politicized the statement saying it victimizes illegal immigrants: “The message has already been received by the 18,000 undocumented persons in Polk County,” Smith said. “This is not the message we need to be sending out with a disaster upon us.”

Horstman said the measure was enforced to ensure people were safe when seeking shelter.

Fox News

“The Sheriff’s Office says the effort will allow residents to feel the shelters are safe and spur more turnout,” Horstman said.

“We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in.”

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