Apopka Police Department keeps stability during state of emergency

Posted by

first_imgShare on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Mama Mia 4 COMMENTS The APD challenge: 12-hour shifts, 641 calls for service… and Hurricane IrmaHurricane Irma is in our rear view mirror. After spending a week in our thoughts and actions… and then a couple of days right in our faces… it moved north to wreak havoc elsewhere, and then ended. But while it was here, and even after its departure, the Apopka Police Department kept the city safe, secure, and stable.Thousands of residents in Apopka were/are without power. Traffic lights went out. Apopka High School and Apopka Memorial Middle School housed evacuees to near-capacity. We bought all of the gas, bread, water and plywood in town. The local hotels were full. We dealt with biblical proportions of rain, hurricane-force wind gusts, downed trees and a 24-hour curfew. We were pummelled, battered, beaten, but not defeated.As a community, we survived Irma.Deputy Chief Randall Fernandez gave the overall assessment of the APD’s battle with Irma.“There have been about 14 officers on patrol working 12-hour day shifts and another 14 working 12-hour night shifts since Sunday morning at 6 AM. We will continue with this schedule until the majority of the city’s utilities are restored and the roads are cleared. These officers are aggressively patrolling businesses and residences to ensure no criminal element is taking advantage of our community during this time, and there is a zero tolerance on such activity.”For the three day period beginning Saturday, and going through Monday night the following activity occurred:The APD responded to 641 calls for service with a total of 44 reports taken. There were a total of nine arrests including one warrant arrest,  five burglaries were reported, and four vehicle crashes. Six citations were issued and three trespass warnings.Two of the arrests were charged also with an enhanced penalty for committing crimes during a State of Emergency.“Our officers were vigilant and dedicated in protecting people and property before, during, and after the storm,” said Fernandez. The emergency communications center double staffed as of Sunday morning and went to 12-hour shifts to ensure the center was responsive prior, during, and after the storm, according to Fernandez. Friday and Saturday, prior to the storm, APD detectives and fire personnel were proactive in contacting those living in mobile home parks and other such vulnerable persons within the community to encourage they seek shelter during the storm. Most took advantage of the shelter opportunity or relocated with family and friends. On Saturday, 10 school resource officers and detectives started 12-hour shifts and were assigned to security at each of the two Orange County shelters within the Apopka community (3/day and 2/night at Apopka High school and 3/day and 2/night at Apopka Middle school). These shelters were closed around 10 pm on Monday night.Monday, after the worst of the storm, police detectives, public services personnel, and  fire department personnel worked as strike teams to clear the debris from blocked roads to ensure critical access to the community was available to emergency personnel. And it was during the post-hurricane period that Fernandez noticed a bond forming in Apopka that extended beyond the APD.“I saw this community come together to help one another. Teams of citizens were clearing debris from each other’s homes and neighborhoods. I saw the Apopka family work together. Just like a family, sometimes we pick at each other, but when the chips are down, you don’t mess with family. This is a community in which I am happy to call home and one in which we can all be proud. I can comfortably say we have the finest emergency service and support personnel around. Even though all our personnel were impacted by the storm, just as the rest of the community was, our police officers, dispatchers, firefighters, and public services personnel left their homes and families to selflessly serve this community. When you get an opportunity, thank them. Most were away from their homes and at their assignments for at least 36 to 48 hours on work/rest schedules not knowing the danger their loved ones or property was in. Some personnel worked longer. They truly give all of themselves for Apopka.” Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley was also pleased with the time and effort his officers and staff put in during the storm.“I thought they did well. They responded to calls for service until the wind and rain got too severe and then we pulled them off the streets. It was admirable given the conditions.  The dedicated men and women of the Apopka Police Department worked hard to ensure our community was safe. I am proud of their dedication and hard work. Just as they do every day, they left their families to protect us under some very difficult conditions and they did a great job.” TAGSApopka Police DepartmentHurricane Irma Previous articleOrange County offers help to homeowners and contractors in securing permitsNext articleTijuana Flats donating 10% of proceeds to Hurricane Irma relief Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 I think it is good that school is going to be closed awhile longer. I am seeing power lines lying around on the sidewalks on the routes that the school kids walk to school down on Summit St. I don’t know if they are live or not. I hope not, as I saw a kid near them today with his skateboard. So many potential hazards around from the hurricane. September 14, 2017 at 11:20 pm Mama Mia You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Reply Please enter your name here September 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm Yeah, still no power crews have come to cut the power to the street lights and cut the top out of this huge heavy extra tall palm that is hanging by a thread on the power line over our driveway. This thing is going to fall eventually, I believe, as I can’t believe it is still hanging by the power line entangled in the frond head. Right there at the pole also is a golden rain tree that is uprooting too, forward toward the street. Big, but not enormous….we can handle it, if the power is cut off. Then, another tree at the front of our yard is going to need to be cut. That is the very tall big maple tree right near the road frontage. I noticed it is leaning slightly toward the street, and it used to be straight as an arrow. What happened is, that around Easter time this year, the city came and did work putting a new water line in, and they did work in our front yard by digging with the track hoe, and cutting the roots off to our maple tree all on one side and then they bored a new water line underneath the ground, so when these powerful winds blew from the east in Irma, they pushed against the big tree, and now it is slightly leaning toward the street. There are no anchor roots to anchor it down on one side, because of the water line work that the city did in our yard. I am surprised it is still standing. We can’t do anything until Duke Energy comes and takes care of the palm first, lying on the line. Aggravating! I have warned my neighbors to the front, not to park close out by the street, as it could fall, if the winds get up again. Dangerous possibly to anyone walking down the street. I guess I will have to post signs on the trees, or yellow tape them, so that people will know. Reply center_img Mama Mia Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Please enter your comment! UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Yeah, my husband remembers having to work extra overtime during the multiple hurricanes of 2004, out in the danger, day and night, with the pounding rains and extreme wind, taking care of everyone but his own…..general employees count too, not just fire and police! If you see them around, the general employees, give them a big thank you, or a hug too, not just police and fire employees, they get all the glory! September 14, 2017 at 11:45 pm I just saw a lady who lives on Votaw Road in Apopka who has been living in a hotel since a big tree crashed through her roof onto her home. She was on tv on channel 6 tonight and was shaking, emotional, and tearing up. She said when the tree crashed through her roof, they were sitting on the sofa, and she ran to her neighbors, who let her and her family stay there during the worst of the hurricane, and then a tree crashed onto her neighbor’s roof too! They made her leave her home, and they put up a sticker that it is unsafe. She said if it rains more today, she will just have to leave her belongings, as is, as she is too upset from this terrible ordeal. I feel sorry for the lady and her family. No one around here was counting on the hurricane doing this kind of widespread damage since it wasn’t even predicted to come this way, until it was too late. Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. September 14, 2017 at 10:39 pm Mama Mialast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *