Red Tape and Rescue Efforts - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry County, MO

Red Tape and Rescue Efforts

Red Tape and Rescue Efforts
By: CJ Cassidy

Perry County, MO - Many police and emergency responders from across the Heartland are already in areas affected by Katrina.As relief efforts continue, other Heartland police departments want to help.

The Perry County, Missouri Sheriff says almost all his deputies want to go, but they've been waiting since last week, and there's still no word on what they need to do, to get moving."We're ready to go down and help in the capacity of police enforcing the law and keeping people safe," Sheriff Gary Schaaf says.

But taking off isn't that easy. First Sheriff Schaaf must get through mounds of paperwork, and register with the State Emergency Management Agency; something he says takes a lot of time, and a lot of phone calls."It's annoying to have to jump through all these hoops just to go down there and help," the Sheriff says.

Schaaf says almost his entire department volunteered to go within hours of posting a sign up sheet, but they're still waiting. "I don't want to jump in there and make the situation worse. I want to do it by the book. I want to be a help rather than a hindrance, that's why we're trying to work through the red tape," he explains.

Deputy Jason Klaus signed up not only to offer relief, but also to learn from the disaster."We live in Southeast Missouri, and the threat of the earthquake is very real here, so to be a part of something like Katrina and see how they're handling communication and problems they're having, would benefit us," he says.

Sheriff Schaaf hopes to get his deputies across in two groups, one at a time.

The Assistant Director of the Louisiana Sheriff's Association, says he appreciates everyone volunteering to come help.

Right now though, he says all police have been placed on stand-by mode, until the government decides if the army and national guard units will enforce the law in areas where the disaster struck.

If not, he says he will call upon those departments like Perry County to send in their men and women.

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