Deputy returns from trip to New Orleans - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deputy returns from trip to New Orleans

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September 12, 2005

Fitzgerald- Colonel J. D. Anderson has seen a lot in his law enforcement career, but will never forget what he experienced in New Orleans.

"I have never in my life imagined anything as bad as what we saw out there. There are not words to describe the devastation," Anderson says.

He, another Ben Hill County deputy, and three deputies from Berrien County spent the last week riding side by side with New Orleans officers.

"Generally we patrolled around primarily looking for looters and criminals. When we weren't catching looters we were trying to help rescue people, animals, whatever had to be done we just did it."

Anderson says there are still hundreds of people in the city who refuse to evacuate, many of them gang members who did not hesitate to shoot at them.

"A lot of these precincts they were taking on fire and being fired upon by gangs and stuff for the first three of four days almost like they were at war," says Anderson.

He says the officers not only work long hours, but must stay in their designated districts 24-hours a day. And many are just now getting supplies like food, water and clothing.

"The officers that we worked with primarily on a daily basis literally lost everything they owned. They lost their houses, pets, fortunately their families were able to get out, but they really lost everything. I haven't done anything compared to what they're doing and what they're going through."

Still, Anderson and the other deputies are committed to helping however they can, and will take on a second week-long mission in what they call the most devastating and dangerous situation they've ever encountered.

Anderson and the rest of the South Georgia deputies plan to return to New Orleans next Monday.

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