MBPD Return Home After Helping Hurricane Victims

The dozens of Miami Beach police officers returned home Thursday night after helping hurricane victims in the Panhandle with a deeper sense of appreciation for life and their jobs.

Over 40 officers spent the last five days at ground zero, helping residents repair after Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4, the strongest storm on record to hit the Florida Panhandle and the fourth strongest to hit the continental United States.

“There’s extensive damage,” officer Eyra Cordoba said. “There’s kids sleeping in tents, kids sleeping outside of their cars, their babies in their vehicles trying to keep cool because it was 90 degrees throughout the day.”

After returning home with a police escort and some fanfare, the Miami Beach Police Department reflected on how the experience in the Panhandle changed their lives.

“It was very humbling for me as a mother as a police officer to be able to help and assist,” Cordoba said.

“I’ve been a police officer 29 years, and this is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had helping this community,” said officer Elio Olivia.

Their initial objective changed as soon as they arrived and met the residents.

“We went up there originally with a law enforcement objective, if you will, to maintain order and peace and help with recovery,” said deputy chief Rick Clements. “It changed into humanitarian almost immediately; by that I mean I had guys more concerned about giving out water, ice, clothing.”

According to Cordoba, the true heroes were the law enforcement officers in the Panhandle.

“Officers from the Panama City police department completely lost their homes, and they’re constantly getting up and going to work,” she said.

There are many ways you can help out victims of Hurricane Michael. You can start here