Florida deputies help Waveland

Orlando Sentinel

Thursday 22 December 2005, 6:09 pm

by Maya Bell, Sentinel Staff Writer

Thanks to a $20,000 check from the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Christmas came a few days early for the Police Department of Waveland, Miss., the town all but wiped off the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina.

The donation, contributed mostly by Orange County deputies, was delivered Tuesday to Waveland police Chief James Varnell.

Waveland department personnel have plenty to be grumpy about. Katrina took their station, patrol cars, communications system, uniforms and weapons. The storm also left 25 of them without homes or personal belongings.

Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary was among the first to send help, dispatching officers to patrol the devastated community, keep order and assist in search-and-rescue efforts. He also sent eight refurbished patrol cars his office had planned to auction.

But the aid didn't stop there. Deputy sheriffs and their families also sent tactical uniforms, boots, clothing, personal-hygiene products, bedding and other essentials that Waveland officers and civilians needed to get back on their feet.