Sheriff Judd: Sex offenders, those with warrants not welcome at hurricane shelters

Sheriff Judd: Sex offenders, those with warrants not welcome at hurricane shelters

People with active warrants in one Florida county may want to reconsider heading to a shelter during Hurricane Irma.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd posted several tweets on Wednesday saying deputies at shelters will be checking IDs and if it's discovered a person has a warrant, they will be taken into custody.

"Never before did I think that we'd be beat up for giving people a warning and keeping people safe", he told local television crews.

In the tweets, Judd said sex offenders would not be allowed at the shelters. He warned that sex offenders would be turned away.

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

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office website, 45 people with "Smith" as their last name and 36 people with "Jones" as their last name have warrants.

Officials with the sheriff's office also noted that if you choose to enter a shelter and have an outstanding warrant, you will be arrested on the spot.

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It noted that many warrants involved only unpaid parking tickets. "We don't arrest people people for simple traffic offenses".

When asked further about the stance, the Polk County Sheriff's Department clarified its position to the Daily Beast.

Sheriff Judd is no stranger to courting controversy, either. However, subsequent tweets simply claimed anyone with a "warrant" would be targeted, and said fugitives should go to jail instead of shelters. Or, say, undocumented immigrants, of whom there are 450,000 living just in South Florida.

Twitter users were outraged by the statements as the potentially life-threatening storm approaches southeast Florida.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom government said Irma inflicted "severe and in places critical" damage to the British overseas territory of Anguilla.

Why are you checking IDs?

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

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