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Florida Officers Aid Louisiana Law Enforcement Agencies Overworked From Hurricane Ida

Two people walk through the ruined streets of Louisiana post-Hurricane Ida.
John Locher
AP Photo
People walk through a neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Ida, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, in Grand Isle, La.

More than six dozen Florida law enforcement officers are patrolling areas of Louisiana to help the state's local agencies overworked from Hurricane Ida. The category four storm walloped Louisiana nine days ago. The Associated Press reports that hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are still without power and fuel shortages remain in some areas.

Captain Jared Hill with Pasco County Sheriff's Office oversees the Florida Sheriffs Association Task Force that coordinated the deployment of 75 officers to Louisiana last weekend. He says some Louisiana officers had their homes destroyed in the storm and have nowhere to live.

"They're a law enforcement in need right now, and they need our help," Hill says.

When Hurricane Michael struck Florida's panhandle, Louisiana sent its officers to help in the recovery efforts. Now, Florida is returning the favor. Hill says it's not just the Florida Sheriffs Association Task Force that's supported the deployment of officers, but other agencies as well. It's all thanks to Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreements.

"That gives law enforcement, firefighters, numerous agencies the ability to cross state lines and support each other," Hill says.

While in Louisiana, Florida officers will retain full law enforcement powers and have the ability to make arrests when necessary. Hill says the 75 officers deployed in Louisiana by his task force will return home in mid-September.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.