Law en­force­ment helps with ‘Con­voy of Care’

The Covington News - - LOCAL - BY SAN­DRA BRANDS sbrands@cov­news.com

De­spite the heat and hu­mid­ity, law en­force­ment of­fi­cers from around the state, in­clud­ing Por­terdale’s Chief of Po­lice and sev­eral New­ton County Sher­iff of­fi­cers helped un­load and load re­lief sup­plies for vic­tims of the Louisiana floods.

Ja­son Cripps, Chief of Po­lice in Por­terdale, he re­ceived an email from the Ge­or­gia As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice dur­ing the week of Aug. 15, ask­ing for vol­un­teers to come to the At­lanta Civic Cen­ter on Aug. 20 or 21 to help pack semi-trucks with do­nated re­lief sup­plies.

The “Con­voy of Care” brought out of­fi­cers from over 25 Ge­or­gia law en­force­ment agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs As­so­ci­a­tion, the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Black Law En­force­ment Ex­ec­u­tives (NOBLE), the Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, Ge­or­gia state Pa­trol and Ge­or­gia Emer­gency Man­age­ment and Home­land Se­cu­rity Agency. Part­ner­ing with law en­force­ment as­so­ci­a­tions was the Ge­or­gia Mo­tor Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Cor­po­ral Jack Redlinger of the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice (NCSO), who spent Aug. 20 vol­un­teer­ing, the vol­un­teers loaded five semi-trac­tor trail­ers with sup­plies peo­ple dropped off over the two day pe­riod.

The do­na­tions, like the vol­un­teers, came from all over the state, Redlinger said. “There were lines and lines of cars … com­ing in with all kinds of things.”

Cripps said his wife, Holly, and his K-9 dog, Sgt. Nina went to­gether. They “put in blood, sweat and tears. It was hot and muggy. We loaded two 50-foot trail­ers. We were given di­a­pers, dog food, school sup­plies. You don’t re­al­ize how much you lose be­cause of a flood. It’s not just wa­ter; it’s diesel fuel, gaso­line, sewage. Any­thing the flood wa­ter touches in con­tam­i­nated.”

Es­ti­mates are that more than 6.9 tril­lion gal­lons of rain fell on ar­eas of Louisiana in one week. Heav­i­est hit were the ar­eas be­tween just east of New Or­leans to north and west of Ba­ton Rouge. Ap­prox­i­mately 31-inches of rain fell in one 15 hour pe­riod mid-Au­gust, dam­ag­ing or de­stroy­ing 40,000 homes and dis­plac­ing 100,000 peo­ple.

The “Con­voy of Care,” a de­ploy­ment of trac­tor-trail­ers from At­lanta with re­lief sup­plies for Louisiana flood vic­tims, was headed for the com­mu­nity of Ba­ton Rouge.

Part of what in­spired him to vol­un­teer, Redlinger said, was the thought of “all the law en­force­ment of­fi­cers in New Or­leans, who are liv­ing in hot, hu­mid muggy weather, in all that wa­ter. Half lost their homes. We wanted to help take care of our own, and all the other peo­ple in New Or­leans.”

One of the things that stood out for Cripps was meet­ing a young lady, barely 11, who car­ried a sign that read, “Hi, My name is Ka’niyah. Nearly 11 years ago, while my mom was evac­u­at­ing New Or­leans – Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina, she de­liv­ered me on the high­way. To­day, I’m here to help oth­ers in need.”

“She was down there help­ing us load and un­load,” Cripps said. “I was so im­pressed.”

He said he doesn’t know why he felt com­pelled to vol­un­teer.

“I woke up that morn­ing and had a strong feel­ing I had to go down there and help,” he said. “It doesn’t mat­ter who we are as po­lice and civil­ians — it was a group peo­ple, black souls, white souls, In­dian, Asian, His­panic — it didn’t mat­ter. We were hu­man be­ings work­ing for the good of other hu­man be­ings.

“It was the hu­man race com­ing to­gether – ev­ery­one help­ing one an­other, hug­ging one an­other,” he said. “That’s what I took away [from the day] and that’s what I saw.”

“If it was us [go­ing through this], we’d want peo­ple to help us.” Redlinger said.

Com­mu­nity ser­vice and in­volve­ment is some­thing law en­force­ment of­fi­cers do ev­ery day, Redlinger said. “There is a lot of stuff we do ev­ery day in New­ton County for the com­mu­nity. Sher­iff [Ezell] Brown is out there ev­ery day get­ting us in­volved in the com­mu­nity.”

Re­lief sup­plies for vic­tims of the Louisiana flood­ing are still be­ing col­lected, and vol­un­teers are still needed. For in­for­ma­tion about re­lief sup­plies needed or how to help vic­tims, visit http://www.red­cross.org/lo­cal/louisiana. For in­for­ma­tion about vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties, visit http://vol­un­teer­louisiana.gov/.

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos | The Cov­ing­ton News

ABOVE: New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice Cor­po­real Jack Redlinger, right, joines WSB-TV’s Mike Winne, load­ing re­lief sup­plies into semi-trac­tor trail­ers for the “Con­voy of Care,” ben­e­fit­ting Louisiana flood vic­tims. BE­LOW: Holly Cripps, left, wife of...

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