Polk County sheriff: Fugitives at Irma shelters will be arrested

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

Florida's Polk County Sheriff Vows To Arrest Anyone With A Warrant Who Visits A Hurricane Irma Shelter

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

In a series of tweets, Wednesday, the office said that anyone who arrives at a shelter with an outstanding warrant would be taken to "the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail".

"I think it is much safer to be in our jail than to expose yourself to a Category 5 storm", Horstman said.

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Sex offenders seeking refuge from Hurricane Irma in Florida have been warned by police they will be turned away from shelters. If their name shows up as a registered sex offender, they will not be allowed inside the shelter. It is not known exactly how many people are now seeking shelter or how many may have warrants out on them.

Carrie Horstman, a spokeswoman for the office, confirmed officers would be checking IDs and will arrest those with a warrant.

"So basically this guy is encouraging anyone with a warrant, which are issued for things such as outstanding parking tickets, to risk death?" another Twitter user wrote. He also stated sheriff's deputies would escort anyone with a warrant to the Polk County Jail. "We aren't sitting there looking for people to arrest", she said, the Sentinel reported.

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According to the New York Times, there are 47 public shelters in Polk County, which has a population of more than 600,000 people. However, subsequent tweets simply claimed anyone with a "warrant" would be targeted, and said fugitives should go to jail instead of shelters. As Hurricane Harvey made its way through the Gulf of Mexico, federal authorities and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said undocumented immigrants should not fear going to shelters. As does whether or not there'll be a Polk County left when Irma is done with it.

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

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