Henry S. Porretto Reflects on 2017 Hurricane Season

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(Newswire.net — February 1, 2018) Mathis, Texas — When Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in the early morning of August 26, 2017, it would set the stage for unrivaled property damage and flooding along the Texas Gulf coast. Criminal justice officials in the state were tasked with orchestrating evacuations, rescues, and humanitarian aid as flooding intensified in the affected areas. Henry S. Porretto, a noted law enforcement veteran with over three decades in the field, knows that advanced preparation and training was the key for the state’s criminal justice system in overcoming the worst the storm had to offer. “The 2017 hurricane season presented many unique challenges to the state and its law enforcement personnel,” says Mr. Porretto. “Police departments throughout the state rose to those challenges, protecting lives and promoting safety in a time of extreme crisis.” To learn more about Mr. Porretto’s experience in dealing with hurricanes, visit https://newswire.net/newsroom/pr/00098172-henry-porretto-weighs-in-on-storms-irma-and-ike-in-2008.html.

Classified as a Category 4 storm, Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas before causing widespread destruction through high winds and flooding. It has gone on record as the costliest hurricane on record in the United States, causing over $125 billion in property damage, particularly in the Houston metropolitan area. Among the many challenges facing the state and its leaders, criminal justice officials had to manage the transfer of over 6000 prison inmates to safe locations during and after the storm. In all, five prisons in coastal areas were evacuated, with many prisoners being shuttled to the Pack Unit near College Station, a facility that was already under scrutiny for excessive heat and safety concerns. Once prisoners were transferred to the Pack Unit, a federal judge ordered that those with medical conditions be evacuated elsewhere. The ensuing shuffle strained the resources of criminal justice personnel, yet they managed to transfer all inmates safely and efficiently despite deteriorating weather conditions. “It is a credit to these departments that they were able to carry out their tasks under such adversity,” adds Mr. Porretto.

Intense flooding in and around Houston created public safety issues. With almost 30 percent of Harris County experiencing severe flooding, police officers had to work with other agencies in several roles. In addition to evacuations, numerous search and rescue missions were performed, some with the help of U.S. Navy seamen and the state’s National Guard. Other agencies offered their help, including state National Guard units from Tennessee and Louisiana joining the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and local agencies in recovery, rescue and cleanup operations. Henry Porretto, a consultant with the Mathis Police Department in Mathis, Texas, knows that interagency cooperation is critical in times of need. “Communication between departments was excellent in the lead up to and aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” says Mr. Porretto. “This communication network was vital in protecting the lives of residents all along the Texas Gulf coast. For more information on Henry and his work in the law enforcement field, visit https://twitter.com/HenryPorretto

About Henry Porretto

30 years in law enforcement has given decorated veteran Henry S. Porretto many insights into the criminal justice system. As former Chief of Police for the City of Galveston Police Department in Galveston, Texas, Mr.Porretto was instrumental in improving community relations and officer training. He has worked with agencies across the state of Texas in a variety of roles. Currently, he serves as a law enforcement consultant for the Mathis Police Department.

Henry Porretto

214 N Nueces St
Mathis, Texas 78368
United States
(361) 547-2341