Eight law enforcement officers with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources were personally thanked by the governor of Louisiana Aug. 6 in Charleston for their part in a six-day deployment to the Hurricane Katrina battered Gulf Coast in September 2005.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco was in Charleston for three days of discussions at the annual summer gathering of the National Governors Association.
“Thirty-eight DNR law enforcement officers deployed to Louisiana last September,” said Col. Alvin Taylor, deputy director for the Law Enforcement Division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Their mission was to assist with evacuations, provide security for utility companies working to provide essential services and to respond to 911 telephone calls.”
DNR officers were first deployed to St. Bernard Parish, about 25 miles southeast of New Orleans, where they rescued seven individuals trapped in their homes.
The South Carolina DNR officers were then divided into two teams. One team went into downtown New Orleans and evacuated 12 people. The other team was deployed to Chalmette, La., to assist with 911 call response and provide security escorts for utility companies. Chalmette also flooded and lies just eight miles from downtown New Orleans.
DNR officers also worked in downtown New Orleans and around the area of the Superdome. There they performed more than 30 rescues, provided security for work crews and responded to numerous 911 calls for help.
“We’re extremely proud of these brave officers who willingly volunteered for this difficult and hazardous assignment,” Taylor said. “They endured and witnessed some of the harshest working conditions, destruction and devastation ever experienced in this country. All South Carolinians can be proud of the way these fine officers served their fellow Americans and represented their home state.”