Polk County Sheriff Pisses Off Twitterverse After Hurricane Shelter Tweets
Polk County, FL – Polk County Sheriff’s Office is telling all wanted criminals and sex offenders that they won’t be finding any shelter at the Polk County hurricane shelters as Hurricane Irma approaches.
The Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter that they would have law enforcement officers at all shelters checking IDs, and wanted criminals would get escorted to a different secure shelter – the Polk County Jail.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office said:
“If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn LEOs will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed”
“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”
“If you have a warrant, turn yourself in to the jail – it’s a secure shelter”
“We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.”
There have been over 2000 people who has responded in the last two hours, and the response to the tweets has been overwhelmingly negative.
Some people have questioned the legality of identifying everybody in the shelter.
We aren’t aware of any case law that specifically addresses mass identification of people in shelters, but it is likely lawful as long as everybody is notified prior to entering that they may be required to show identification, much in the way that you need to be identified prior to flying.
Others are claiming that people are being forced to brave the storm outside of a shelter. This is not true, as the Polk County Sheriff explicitly stated that he’s providing them with a much more secure shelter.
Do you think that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is being overly harsh here? We’d like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.