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Hurricane Irma: Polk sheriff warns IDs will be checked at evacuation shelters

08 September 2017

"We can not and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators", the sheriff said, adding law enforcement officers would be posted at shelters to check IDs". "Sex offenders don't necessarily have outstanding warrants", one critic pointed out.

Two of the tweets specifically mentioned "sex offenders and predators" would be barred from public shelters. That number does not reflect the number of registered sex offenders living elsewhere in the State.

A Florida sheriff has offered shelter to any residents with outstanding warrants seeking refuge from Hurricane Irma - the Polk County jail.

Hurricane Irma - one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded - is likely to hit South Florida on Sunday morning. She added that the rule will also help the county keep a log of who visits the shelters during the hurricane.

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"If you have a warrant, turn yourself in to the jail - it's a secure shelter", the sheriff's department wrote.

'We hope it actually leads to more people turning themselves in, ' the spokeswoman, Carrie Horstman, told the paper. The Category 5 storm with near record-breaking wind speeds in excess of 180 miles per hour is expected to hit Florida this weekend, but its precise track is still being determined, according to the Washington Post.

Some tweeters wondered whether their unpaid parking tickets or a decades-old crime on their record could result in spending the night in a jail cell rather than on a FEMA shelter cot. "We aren't sitting there looking for people to arrest", she said, the Sentinel reported. That's the same approach they took with Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Instead, they will be escorted to the Polk County Jail.

"I tell the ACLU, grab all those people up and take them home with you", Judd said. "We need to know who is in there".

Hurricane Irma: Polk sheriff warns IDs will be checked at evacuation shelters