Sheriff Kevin Sproul on the Recent Storm Response
Monday, January 30th, 2017
Rarely has a community been tested as we have been. We could have made that statement after Storm One. Now, after Storm Two, it is especially true. We have been hit so hard that it has shocked the conscience of a nation. Our plight has inspired the outpouring of compassion from around the state and beyond. It has also brought to light a simple fact; that we are selfless and strong in the face of adversity.
Southwest Georgia rarely hits anyone’s radar. One could probably watch the national news for months, or years, and never hear mention of anything in Georgia south of Macon. When we do make the news, it seems to be because of something devastating like the flood of 1994, or the murder of police officers, or this current disaster. In the midst of such tragic news however, is the display of help and hope. Neighbors helping neighbors. People taking care of people. That is our trademark.
Times such as these tend to bring out the very best in some people. We have seen, again and again, victims of the storms disregard their own misfortune while they turn to help their neighbors. We have seen those unaffected by the storm neglect their own interests and pour themselves into helping the victims. From clearing debris, to preparing meals, to watching children, to donating goods and money, the people of this community have rallied together in a truly remarkable way. I have never been so proud to claim this community as my home.
Unfortunately, times such as these also tend to bring out the very worst in some people. Such disasters always seem to be followed by those who would attempt to profit from the misfortune of others. From looting to scamming, there are those for whose schemes we must remain on constant watch.
In response to these devastating storms, the Sheriff’s Office joined the chorus of responding agencies to render immediate aid and conduct search and rescue operations. We also worked with other law enforcement agencies to secure storm-affected areas. These efforts usurped the normal duties of our office such as executing criminal warrants and serving civil papers. Now, as the search and rescue portion of the response winds down, law enforcement is focusing on the security of the affected areas, crime prevention, and the investigation of fraud related to recovery and rebuilding efforts. The Sheriff’s Office is resuming normal functions but we are also keeping dedicated patrols in the affected areas.
I commend all those who have worked to help this community, from within and without. Together, we will get through this and be stronger because of it. If we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 229-431-3259.