Governor Jeb Bush paid FHP troopers assigned to the Hurricane Katrina detail in Mississippi a special visit on Wednesday, September 14th. Shown in the above photo in front of the Patrol's Mobile Command Center with a few of the troopers assigned to the detail are, L to R, Florida's Speaker of the House Allen Bense, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and his wife, Governor Bush, and Florida Senate President Tom Lee.
Troopers continue to reach out to the victims of hurricane-ravaged Mississippi. Last month, Hurricane Katrina sent a haunting reminder about the power of nature--something those of us in Florida know all too well. Almost immediately, FHP responded by sending fifty-nine troopers on a mission--to help restore order and help the victims in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The troopers, most of whom volunteered last year with Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne, Ivan, and Francis, were eager to travel to Mississippi to support local law enforcement and assist the communities affected by the storm.
Upon arrival in Mississippi, our troopers found that their only means of communication was via their laptop computers in their patrol cars. Messages from the region painted a horrific picture of damage and destruction experienced by those living in this part of the nation.
Soon, an additional forty-eight members, along with two Mobile Command vehicles, were deployed to Mississippi for extra support. The 107 sworn personnel were assigned to the Moss Point and Gautier Police Departments to fulfill their mission to help staff the 24-hour Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) center, control traffic, enforce curfews, provide security, escort fuel and supplies vehicles, distribute food and water to victims, and render humanitarian aid as needed. Local law enforcement officers looked to our troopers for guidance because of their experience with past storms in Florida.
Trooper Barron and Trooper Glaenzer, of Orlando Troop D, hand out a Trooper Teddy Bear to 21 month old Morgan Meek. She has been living at a fire department shelter in Gautier, Mississippi, since Hurricane Katrina destroyed her family's home. Gautier is located between Biloxi and Pascagoula on the Mississippi coast. Troopers have also been handing out water, MRE, and other relief supplies to victims of the hurricane.
We are very proud of the men and women of the Florida Highway Patrol who continue to show their strong commitment and willingness to help those devastated by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.