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Release Number: 18-730
- For Immediate Release:
- Public Affairs Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- October 18, 2018
- Contact Person:
- Public Affairs Office : email@example.com
Sheriff Chad Chronister Goes To Hurricane-Ravaged Panhandle
Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski accompanied the Sheriff, along with his wife and son, Nikki and Asher, touring the hardest-hit areas, including Mexico Beach.
- October 17, 2018
- Time: 12:00 AM
Sheriff Chad Chronister made a special trip north of Hillsborough County on Wednesday, October 17, to the Florida Panhandle, an area ripped apart by Hurricane Michael.
The Sheriff, along with his wife and son, Nikki and Asher, and Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski, toured the hardest-hit areas, including Mexico Beach, where tens of thousands of homes and businesses are still in disrepair and without power since the hurricane made landfall one week ago.
"The people of this community are working very hard to rebuild their lives, and I believe it's our duty, as service men and women and as human beings, to step up to help them in any way we can," said Sheriff Chronister. "I've deployed dozens of Hillsborough County deputies over the last week to the Panhandle. They're working with residents and local law enforcement night and day, whether it's sharing food and supplies or clearing debris and putting tarps on roofs."
Sheriff Chronister visited members of the Hillsborough County Special Incident Response Team, who are assisting the Bay County Sheriff's Office, and met with Bay County Sheriff Tom Ford to learn how HCSO can continue to relieve his deputies, some of whom are dealing with damaged or destroyed homes themselves.
"We came to provide a helping hand, the same way I know our fellow law enforcement officers in the Panhandle would be there for us if we needed them," said Sheriff Chronister.
The Sheriff and his crew, which included Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, passed out supplies at a local shelter and Red Cross stations, talking to residents to assess their needs and providing words of encouragement. He returned to Tampa on Wednesday evening, turning those talks into action.
Sheriff Chad Chronister has launched a supply drive called "Operation Pay It Forward," where Hillsborough County residents can stop by any of the five HCSO district offices to donate hurricane relief supplies through Friday, October 19. The supplies will be shipped to the Panhandle by deputies on an 18-wheeler donated by Tampa Idealease on Saturday and distributed to residents.