Polk County Sheriff: Sex offenders not allowed in Hurricane Irma shelters

Posted September 08, 2017

On Twitter, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued some guidelines regarding the evacuation plans for the Category 5 hurricane that could possibly hit the state over the weekend.

Two of the tweets specifically mentioned "sex offenders and predators" would be barred from public shelters.

Officers will be checking IDs at every shelter, he said. If their name shows up as a registered sex offender, they will not be allowed inside the shelter.

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

A Florida sheriff earned criticism this week for vowing to arrest any person who comes to a Hurricane Irma shelter with an outstanding warrant, and now he's punching back.

Patrick Monahan, a Twitter comedian, tweeted back, "This definitely won't cause anyone to try to ride out the storm because they have too many unpaid parking tickets or whatever".

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Judd was elected sheriff in Polk County in 2004, having started in the office in 1972 as a dispatcher. "We don't arrest people people for simple traffic offenses".

The statement concluded with: "Sheriff Judd should be working to prepare his community, not burnishing his Joe Arpaio-style "tough cop" credentials".

Horstman tells the New York Times that officials are not concerned with checking the immigration status of people in the shelters. Polk County has an estimated population of more than 660,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Department of Homeland Security says it will not use shelters to catch undocumented immigrants. "The jail is a safe and secure facility you can seek shelter from the storm there".

Are you saying those without an ID will be turned away from shelter? Instead, they will be escorted to the Polk County Jail.

"It's a tragedy, we'll need to rebuild both islands".