TAMPA, Fla. — More than 30 Tampa officers return home Thursday after spending two weeks in the panhandle as part of "Tampa Strong," in helping with Hurricane Michael recovery.
During the past two weeks, these officers and dispatchers have been working with the communities of Panama City, Mexico Beach, Parker and Jackson County to ensure public safety. From traffic control and answering calls for service, to delivering water and helping others cope with the loss of property.
"These officers and dispatchers brought the heart of Tampa to those in need in the Florida panhandle," said Eddy Durkin, Tampa Police PIO.
Sergeant Kimberly Hill, from the Tampa Police Department, says it was a humbling experience hearing heartbreaking stories from people who lost everything. But she says their hope and sense of community was inspiring.
"What really surprised us was is the way the community came together. You see the devastation and you see so many people that lost absolutely everything, but they’re there trying to help us, even though we’re the ones there trying to help them," said Hill.
The officers had a final briefing Thursday at a rest stop along I-75 as a successful completion of their mission, before returning home.