Breaking News
ALADS Continues Legal Fight Over “Brady” List         Cops Forgo Raise to Keep 4-3 Schedule         One Cop’s Take On Colin Kaepernick         VIDEO: “We Brought Our Brother Home”         LISTEN: No Sleep? You’d Better Fix That!         VIDEO: What Really Happened         ACLU: Detective’s Right to Free Speech Was Violated         Time To Stop the Finger Pointing         If Things Go Bad, You Need a Plan         Dear Anthem Protesters: Police are Not the Enemy         Real Police Facing Private Takeover         Hard Work, Heartache, and a Lot of Love         VIDEO: Harvey’s Horrific Aftermath         VIDEO: Keeping World Leaders Safe         Bill Bratton On the Future of American Policing         Who Will Pay for New Contract?         VIDEO: Detectives Fight Plan to Cut Pensions         Taking Care of Others, Then Our Own         Public Support For Unions is Growing         Minneapolis Considering Residency Incentives         VIDEO: Cop Battling Cancer is Harvey Hero         VIDEO: Dancing With the Cops?         Cops Speak Out Against Use of “Thin Blue Line” by Hate Groups         What Is the Arnold Foundation Hiding?         Decision May Violate Officers’ Rights         Court Deems Evergreen Clause Constitutional         No Raises for Cops; $140M for Stadium         Philly Cops Win $8M O.T. Settlement         We Condemn Nazis and White Supremacists         Mounties Face Crisis, No Solution in Sight         Push to Oust Louisville PD Chief Intensifying         CSLEA is Newest Member of PubSecAlliance         Ford is Fixing the Problem         “It’s Been An Honor to Work With Chief Marshman”         Automatic Dues Collection Under Attack         Cops Use Video to Go for Pay Raise         Understaffed Leads to Rise In Crime         R.I.P. Deputy Haak         Ruling On Body Cams: Use Must Be Negotiated         Rochester Police Locust Club (NY) Joins PubSecAlliance         Officer Acquitted Of Negligent Homicide         Texas Cops Oppose Anti-Union Bill         Insults Divide, Decency Unites         FOP Prez Threatened, Police Investigate         VIDEO: Sergeant’s Indictment Prompts Outpouring of Support         VIDEO: Sounding the Alarm On a Manpower Crisis         VIDEO: Dramatic Body Cam Footage!         VIDEO: Police Union Advises Action Amid “Breaking Point”         VT First State to OK Compensation for PTSD         Officer Suicides: Agencies Must Do More         Outsiders Clamor for Police Contract Changes         Governor Furloughs Workers, Hits the Beach         Recruit the Best at U.S. Army Reserves         VIDEO: Sergeant Charged With Murder 2         R.I.P. Officer Korchak         More Officers Taking Own Lives         Pride in Honoring Our Own         A Tale of Two Chiefs         New Accountability System Gives Civilians More Power         Police Unions Call for “Rational Voice”         Texas Moves to Save Pensions         City Refuses to Pay Officer’s Legal Bills         Rank and File Question Dubious Hiring         The Mounties Have Never Had to Contend With a Union         Police Week: Anguish, Anger, Empathy         Rookies Sue for OT Pay During Academy Training         FLSA Pay Ruling: Use Cash, Not Benefits         Record Crowd Attends Annual Candlelight Vigil         Everyone Needs Sleep, Especially Cops         Questions Raised About New John Jay President         Hennepin County Sheriff Joins NYPD Shield Program         Big Surprise: Paper Misrepresents Contract Talks         County Budget Leaves Us Underfunded         VIDEO: Omaha Unions Say No to Gov         City Says “No Police Floats” In Parade         One-Minute Man         Is This the Solution to Cop Shootings?         Ingredients for Better LE Outcomes         Why the Police Need Unions         Mounties Demand a Union & Contract         Indebted to Some Very Brave People         We’ve Been Abandoned by Politicos, Command Staff         VIDEO: The Most Hated Man In Pensionland         Underfunded Pensions: a Disaster Waiting to Happen         Another Ambush Attack!         Today, It’s You; Tomorrow, It’s a Security Guard         VIDEO: NJ Police May Get Control of Unfunded Pensions         Thousands of Officers to Get BIG Bonuses         Improving Economy Hurts LE Recruitment         Another Fundraising Scam         Threats to Police Retirement Programs Escalate         Conflict Rises, Billboards Go Up         NJ Unilaterally Changing Police Contract         Pensions Slowly Being Reduced and Replaced         Baltimore Chief: “No More Plainclothes”         When Will All This Stop?         Top Police Union Leader Joins Protest         VIDEO: “Line of Duty” is HERE!         Chicago Cops Get Thanks They Deserve         Mayors Missing as Pension Fund Goes Down         Pension Bill Draws Protest         Deputies Association Hires High-Powered PR Exec         Finally, a Contract for NYPD Officers         Nebraska Corrections Officers Seek Out F.O.P.         Outrage Grows Over Pension Plans in Peril         Sanctuary Cities: Police vs. Mayor         Police Unions Seek to Overhaul Obama’s Reforms         Super Bowl Security         Look Hard at Your Pension Fund         Pension Mediation Talks Cease; Lawsuit Looms         How Much Would You Pay for Policing?         Hazardous Workplace         Officers Leaving in Droves         Technology, Police, and Privacy         Fake Guns Destroy Lives         War Against Unions Gaining Ground         Washington D.C. Police Union in Turmoil         Teamsters Face 20% Cut in Pension Benefits         Body Cam Screw-ups Lead to Mistrial         VIDEO: Body Cam Catches Shootout         Restraining Order for Black Lives Matter Leader         New Chief Has Fight On His Hands         Pension Panic Spreads         Carrots and Sticks         Another Agency May Fold         Community and Police Join in Prayer         VIDEO: We Are There For You!         Feds Seek Repeat of Disastrous Police Hiring Practices         VIDEO: Officer’s Gift of Kindness Keeps on Giving         Is Trump Going After Collective Bargaining Rights?         Police Union Not “App”y         Police Union Fights Back Against Budget Cuts         Police Union Reinstates Body Cam Program         Citizen Wants Officer Fired for FB Post         VIDEO: Use of Force Policy Fiasco         Attacks on Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Where Is the Outrage?         Millions May Lose Overtime Pay         Mayor Violates Officer’s Right to Due Process         VIDEO: Police Union Heals With Song         State Moves to Nix Benefits From Collective Bargaining         City, Officer Cleared in Wrongful Death Case         Trump Puts OT, Benefits On Chopping Block         VIDEO: A World Without Law Enforcement         VIDEO: Shake It Off         HUGE Refund for AZ Public-Safety Pensioners         Eloquent Goodbye         Cheerleader In Chief         The Trouble With Trauma         Shocking News About Local Gov Pension Funds         See You In Court!         One of the Good Guys         Chief Resigns After No-Confidence Vote         Zika Virus Hits Cops         Iowa Officers Ambushed         Policing the Police         For Real Community Policing, Let Officers Do Their Jobs         VIDEO: Who Needs Cops?         VIDEO: Officer Breathes Life into Toddler         Civil Rights Lawyer: “Mayor Publicly Hanged Sergeant”         These Pensions Could Be in Trouble         Arlington PU Files Suit         Returning the Money         Better Pay Sought         Cam Policies Finalized         VIDEO: Officers Shot!         Officers Need to Review Body Cam Footage         Baltimore Cops’ DIY “Reforms”         It’s Time for Our Input on Use-of-Force Policies         VIDEO: Facebook Threat         Fort Worth POA Fed Up         Mayor Threatened Seattle Police Union         The Unthinkable May Come to Pass         PBA Needs Your Help for a Music Video         Police Union Objects to Defense Attorney’s Pin         Prop 57: Criminal’s Bill of Rights         Pension Panic in Dallas         True Reform Can Only Come From Within         A Harsh Look at Police Union Contracts         Private Pensions in Chile = Total Disaster         Judge Won’t Halt Body Cam Program         9/11: A Look Back         “We Searched Everywhere. We Never Found Anyone.”         “It Was Like Looking Into Hell”         Hellbent on Killing Unions         O.C. Deputies Land 8.5% Raise         Fake Cops Target Off-Duty Officer         Suing Over Social Media         Sr. Deputies Quit After No Raise         Police Pensions Endangered         Where’d the $$$ Come From?         VIDEO: Not Without Sacrifice         Newsweek: The State of U.S. Law Enforcement         Pride in Honoring Our Own         Local Newspaper Slanders Law Enforcement         Arbitrator: Firing Upheld of Officer Sending Racist Texts         Dallas Police Pensions Facing Disaster         More Unfair Attacks from the L.A. Times         Federal Judge: I’ll Steamroll Police Union         VIDEO: Here’s What Happened In Dallas        

Hard Work, Heartache, and a Lot of Love

Chief Jayroe, whose Texas town bore the full force of Hurricane Harvey, says the outpouring of support from law enforcement and the community made all the difference.

by Chief Tim Jayroe, Rockport (TX) Police Dept.

In the coastal areas of our country emergency responders, elected officials, and concerned citizens think, plan, discuss, review and practice every year for the possibility that sometime between August and November we will be forced to deal with a hurricane.

What we found out on August 24, 2017, is that no amount of preparation can prepare us for what we have to deal with both during and after a storm arrives. This is particularly true when a storm like Hurricane Harvey comes into the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical wave and, over the next 40 hours, turns into a Category 4 hurricane that hits your home town.

This drastically reduces preparation time from 3 to 5 days to less than 2, and makes communication with the public regarding safety issues or evacuation notices much more difficult than anticipated.

Due to the brief preparation time, officers were directly involved with evacuation and other issues. When the tropical storm weather conditions moved in, hurricane force winds and rain were less than two hours away. When the hurricane force winds arrived all patrol units and other high-profile vehicles were called in and parked at the public safety center where all personnel remained until conditions improved.

On the morning of August 27 problems we failed to fully anticipate started to appear. Three communications towers had crashed to the ground and radio communication was poor at best. Cell phone towers and Internet service was gone as was telephone service. We found it very difficult to contact the people we needed to speak with to arrange for the supplies and help so we could assist the people who were unable or unwilling to evacuate.

Only three of our 25 police department units were operational. The rest of the cars had missing windows and 3 to 5 inches of rain inside. Fortunately volunteers from Corpus Christi and San Antonio came to town and set up shop in tents near the Public Safety Center. They worked 18-hour days until all our official vehicles were dried out and placed back in service.

I can honestly say we would not have been able to cope with all the problems if it had not been for the unsolicited and totally unexpected help that regular citizens and other agencies gave us. The State of Texas provided assets in the form of officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety Officers, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Investigative Officers of the Attorney General’s Office, and the Texas State Guard. The federal government sent people from the National Guard, FEMA, and others.

The Corpus Christi Police Department under Chief Mike Markel provided ten officers which strengthened our patrol force and provided extra safety for our residents. These people and what they did to help us will never be forgotten by the people of Rockport, Texas.

Other local agencies including Portland, and Sinton, and Sheriff’s Offices from Bexar, Comal, and Tarrant County, sent officers. Dozens of other departments from around the state and across the nation volunteered to help and even collected the things most needed by first responders and other storm victims and sent them by the truck load. Food, water, clothing, toiletries, insect repellant, towels and other necessities arrived quickly and made life more comfortable for our people as we moved from response to recovery efforts.

The Gulfport, Mississippi, Police Department sent a group of officers, including Chief Leonard Papania and Mayor Billy Hewes, to cook and provide meals for first responders. Mayor Hewes and Chief Papania also met with local officials to provide information regarding coming challenges for our area based on their experience with past hurricanes.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin, Police Department sent a truck Police Department sent an 18-wheeler loaded with supplies for storm victims in Rockport and Houston.

Finally, a former police officer, Larry Lenford from Jacksonville, Texas (my hometown), came and spent 8 to 12 hours per day for 10 days answering phones in our communications center simply because he wanted to help.

I have received hundreds of texts and messages from people across the country who want us to know that they care about the people of our community and have been praying for us since before the storm. Their concern and prayers are as important to us as cash and equipment.

Not only do assistance and prayers come from across Texas and the United States but we also received financial assistance and encouragement from the Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist organization with volunteers in over 50 countries around the world. This financial assistance, in the form of gift cards, amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars given directly to first responders and area residents whose homes were destroyed or damaged to the extent occupants were temporarily displaced.

These are examples, but not nearly all, of the things that the thinking, planning, discussing, reviewing, and practicing didn’t have us prepared for. Not that all those former things weren’t worthwhile, but the goodness and kindness of people and organizations that don’t owe you one thing will brighten your day and help you get through the tension and stress that accompanies disasters.

While talking with a lady who works as a custodian in our building she told me that she believes that she knows why Hurricane Harvey came to our area. She said she believes that God was telling us we should stop hating each other and start loving each other. After a month of watching the response of people of every age, race, ethnic group, and background across our country, I believe she may be right.

Regular training and practice is essential in assuring that our citizens and their property are protected in the event of an emergency. Repeated use of Incident Command protocol and the need for Unified Command for large area disasters is extremely useful. Government assistance, both on a state and national level, can be expected and is an invaluable resource but the unsolicited and unexpected assistance provided by dozens of groups and individuals will have a tremendous positive impact on your community, your organization, your attitude, and your mental and emotional well-being. Disasters will always come but when governments, organizations, and—most importantly—the people work together, we will get past them.

Tim Jayroe is the Chief of Police of the Rockport, Texas, Police Department.

Posted in: Tales of Triumph

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: