Tropical Storm Irma struck the area on Sept. 11, leaving significant areas of Fayetteville without power. During the storm and after, there was plenty of work for local law enforcement. There was also a different type of response on Sept. 13 beyond downed power lines and vehicle accidents.
Police department spokesman Mike Whitlow said a social media effort by the department led to a decision by the city to have command staff, administrators, detectives and fire department staff going door-to-door in outage areas in the vicinity of Ga. highways 314 and 92 and other areas of the city where power had not been restored.
“This was done out of concern for those without power. We found several families needing food,” said Whitlow. “People were very responsive and very pleased.”
Whitlow said there were other families outside the city that were also in need of food. He said the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office made those deliveries.
Food deliveries continued on Thursday while fire department staff delivered water to those in need, Whitlow said.
Whitlow said the department continued to monitor those families for food needs and for medical issues until power was restored.
He noted that patrol officers were not pulled off their duties and continued to cover city police needs.
Whitlow thanked the nonprofit Sisters for Society, an area business and Atlanta resident Tremain Santiago who arrived in the city with 200 hamburgers and hot dogs and a grill.
As for the participation by the department, Whitlow said it began with social media efforts and reaching out to the community to provide storm-related information.
“On Wednesday, we reached out to see if people knew of those with needs,” Whitlow explained.
As for his assessment of the community effort, Whitlow said, “It’s part of our duties. It’s being responsible to the citizens who paid our salaries.”