Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Dangers of Hurricanes

Twenty-three law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty as the direct results of hurricanes or their aftermath. One of the most deadly hurricanes for law enforcement struck Texas almost 100 years ago.

The Hurricane of 1919 claimed the lives of Police Officer L.B. Prater of the Corpus Christi Police Department, and Captain Joe Williams and Game Warden Harry Raymond or the Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission.

We will never forgot the sacrifices officers make who stay behind during evacuations, facing hurricanes and other natural disasters head-on:

Storm of 1900
Police Officer Samuel Eugene Tovrea ~ Galveston Police Department, TX

Hurricane of 1919
Captain Joe Williams ~ Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission
Game Warden Harry Raymond ~ Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission
Police Officer L. B. Prater ~ Corpus Christi Police Department, TX

Hurricane Barbara (1953)
Police Officer Talbot Barrow ~ Norfolk County Police Department, VA

Hurricane Carol (1954)
Trooper Daniel L. O'Brien ~ Rhode Island State Police

Hurricane Dianne (1955)
Patrol Officer Billie D. Ellis ~ Princeton Township Police Department, NJ

Hurricane Donna (1960)
Trooper Donald A. Strand ~ New York State Police

Hurricane Betsy (1965)
Auxiliary Captain Owen Bender ~ Florida Highway Patrol

Hurricane Beulah (1967)
Border Patrol Inspector Elgar Holliday ~ United States Border Patrol

Hurricane Agnes (1972)
Officer Gordon Hufnagle ~ Lewisburg Police Department, PA
Police Officer Leo Paul Van Winkle ~ Philadelphia Police Department, PA

Tropical Storm Davis (1979)
Patrolman Alvin Williams ~ Woodbridge Police Department, NJ

Tropical Storm Isabel (1985)
Policeman Herminio Lopez-Pilar ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Policeman Homero Ortiz-Martinez ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Sergeant Francisco Diaz-Melendez ~ Puerto Rico Police Department
Policeman Pedro Burgos-Lacourt ~ Puerto Rico Police Department

Hurricane George (1998)
Aviation Supervisor Pedro Jose Rodriguez-Franco ~ United States Customs Service
Agent Pablo Alvarez-CarriĆ³n ~ Puerto Rico Police Department

Hurricane Ivan (2004)
Police Officer Matt Rittenhouse ~ Harriman Police Department, TN

Hurricane Rita (2005)
Chief of Police Dion Rastus Nelson, Sr. ~ York Police Department, AL

Hurricane Katrina (2005)
Deputy Sheriff Gary Frederick Labenz ~ Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, AZ
Police Officer Christopher John Doyle, III ~ New Orleans Police Department, LA