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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
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Second Group of KSP Officers Heading South
Mississippi woman calls KSP HQ to offer thanks

Date of Release: 09/09/05

FRANKFORT, KY - Two delegations of Kentucky State Police (KSP) officers that have been in Mississippi and Louisiana for nearly a week will be relieved this weekend by new troops.

Fourteen officers headed to Mississippi and 38 bound for Louisiana will meet at the I-65 southbound lane rest area (mile marker 29) near Bowling Green on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. (CDT) to begin the trek. They'll replace KSP officers currently in these states who will return the same day. As with the first details, officers are supplying their own resources, such as food and water and also will dispense some of these items to people who lack provisions and potable water.

KSP Commissioner Mark L. Miller said a woman from Wiggins, MS, an evacuee who was assisting other evacuees at a church in the area, took the time to call and show her appreciation for the KSP presence.

"She talked with one of our majors at headquarters and asked that we please not take the KSP troopers out of the area," said Miller. "The officers are helping the evacuees at the church, and her church is trying to repay them by offering the officers home-cooked meals. This woman, who has lost everything, called to thank us...I find that amazing. It's been a rewarding, yet humbling experience to help the people in both states."

KSP Lt. Col. Dean Hayes, who has headed the Louisiana delegation this week, said a trooper detailed to guard a government building in New Orleans, discovered a man and his dog hiding in the building's parking lot. "He ran away from the Superdome because he feared being killed," said Hays. "All he had were the clothes he was wearing, a shirt tied around his waist, and his dog. He begged not to be taken back to the Superdome." KSP officers helped find the man clothing and housing in Baton Rouge.

Hays added that Louisiana state troopers have been hard hit, as well. "In the troop we've been sworn into, 10 troopers lost everything. At another nearby troop, 34 officers have lost everything," said Hays.

The KSP's main purpose is to continue to restore and maintain order, but officers assist in many other ways by checking on people, securing and patrolling people's property, providing food, water, diapers and other necessities and directing medical attention to people who still refuse to leave their homes.

"People come up and hug us," said Hayes. "We (officers) became KSP troopers to help people...and something like this has brought the greatest satisfaction that we're able to do that."

The KSP details headed south on Saturday are scheduled to return to Kentucky after a week's stay. The KSP may send additional troops in the future as the hurricane-ravaged states evaluate needs and what agencies can best meet those needs.

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