Polk County sheriff: Fugitives at Irma shelters will be arrested

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said the effort will allow residents to feel safe in the shelters and will encourage more turnout


By C1 Staff

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd issued a warning to sex offenders and those with warrants: If you seek shelter from Hurricane Irma, we’ll escort you to jail.

In a series of tweets Wednesday, Judd said authorities would be checking IDs at every shelter and sex offenders and predators “will not be allowed.”

“We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders and predators. Period,” he tweeted.

He also tweeted that those with warrants should turn themselves in.

“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,” he wrote.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman told the Orlando Sentinel that the department hopes the process will spur more turnout at shelters and make residents feel safe. 

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

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