SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — Sanibel Island remains damaged, but also busy with the Causeway bridge operational and repairs ongoing, important recovery work seems to be going on around the clock.
Volunteers like Sherri Haupt with Operation BBQ Relief make sure the residents and workers are fed.
“And now they’ve gotten used to us it’s like we’re the ice cream truck they see us coming by and they’re like barbeque, barbeque,” said Haupt.
Other than food there’s also security and crime prevention to worry about. That’s where Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, and Lantana police departments teamed up with Lee county and St Petersburg to assist Sanibel police.
60 extra officers in total including Riviera Beach’s Nir Mordechay, were stationed on the island this week.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in my entire life,” said Mordechay, “and very blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be here the community definitely needs us especially at night."
That's when Mordechay’s team is most active assisting in a handful of arrests in the week they've been stationed - a lot of it looting and car thefts.
Their week has been well documented on the department’s Facebook page.
Mordechay has a stern warning to would-be criminals on the island, “If you come here we have Palm Beach County agencies that are ready to take you into custody. You will not take advantage of the people on Sanibel Island.”
Officers are helping officers and residents, no matter the agency.
Fellow Riviera Beach Police Officer Javares Harvey explained it like this, “it’s not about what patch we wear or what color uniform. We all have the same mission in mind and that’s to help.”
Riviera Beach police department plans to send another team to Sanibel this weekend.