PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - When Panama City Beach Police Lt. Clayton Jordan saw the devastation first hand in the Florida Keys, it took his breath away.
"Your heart just drops."
He said boats line the road, gas stations are demolished, and businesses aren't even there anymore.
"When you get down there and see it firsthand, it takes a whole new perspective on you," said Jordan.
Jordan is one 15 Panama City Beach Police officers who deployed to the Florida Keys. He didn't hesitate to respond to a department wide email asking for volunteers.
"I felt a sense of duty to want to go down there," said Jordan.
The Navy veteran, with 20 years at the Panama City Beach Police Department said serving is all he knows.
"These people come into the shelter and have a law enforcement officer there, knowing that if they decide to take a nap in the air conditioned shelter, they had someone watching on top of them."
Their presence alone providing a peace of mind. Many times, Jordan said he would just lend a listening ear to residents, who were overwhelmed, as they went day to day without power, some without a home.
"If it gave them that peace of mind, someone they could listen to, that's the mood we brought to them," said Jordan.
In return, those there, appreciative. Thankful to officers who traveled close to 10 hours to get there, including Investigator Nicholas Caligiure.
He stepped away from the desk to help make sure supplies got in the right hands.
"They would take the items and go sell it," said Caligiure. "We were trying to prevent that, and make sure the people who needed it, got it."
Officers worked 12 hours on, 12 hours off for about a week, and slept on cots.
In addition to the Florida Keys deployment, two more officers traveled to Tallahassee where they helped with operations from the state level.
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