Viral 'hot cops' photo puts spotlight on law enforcement
(FOX 13) - As natural disaster hit Florida, the Gainesville Police Department posted a photo of three of its officers as they prepared to respond to residents in need of help.
Thanks to the internet, that photo provided a much-needed distraction to many surfing social media in search of news and information about Hurricane Irma.
Most of the comments on the department's photo post referenced the officers' appearance.
One female commenter said, "Uhm, a court date is still a 'date' right?!"
Since the post was shared far and wide, many other agencies around the country wanted to be sure the fine men and women of their departments got some internet love, posting photos of their officers as well.
In Tampa, the police department posted a video of their officers with the caption, "Game over."
In Sarasota, officers Raulerson, Craig, Gloeckner and Hughes posed for a picture before heading off to help North Port Police and Fire Rescue crews perform search and rescue operations.
And in Pinellas Park, officers stood tall while challenging other departments to show their stuff, as well as making a call for donations to those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Everyone wins!
Even outside of Florida, officers in Knoxville, Tennessee took the challenge a step further to encourage a donation challenge for the people of Florida.
Elsewhere in Tennessee, officers with the Loudon Police Department's Adam Squad made their presence known, saying "We ain't pretty, but we get the job done.." We disagree with the first part and are sure of the second.
In true form of their sheriff, Grady Judd, the Polk County Sheriff's Office posted photos of deputies but quipped they were too busy cleaning up debris to strike a pose.
While doing research for this story, we here at FOX 13 looked through the social media pages of dozens of law enforcement agencies around the Bay Area, in search of similar posts in response to Gainesville PD.
It became clear why every agency had not taken part in the viral sensation, based on post after post of officers working hard within their communities to help folks through the hurricane and beyond.
Clearwater PD, for example, made a welfare check on a 94-year-old whose granddaughter was worried about her well-being during the storm. While there, the officers and Mrs. Betty Helmuth made friends for life.
And in St. Petersburg, police cadets delivered food and water to community churches for distribution to those in need.
In Lakeland, Sgt. Brown was spotted cutting down a tree blocking a roadway.
And in Orange County, there's an official chainsaw gang, ready to remove tree debris at a moment's notice.
In Highlands County, two deputies and a sergeant helped push a mother's vehicle to the gas pump after she ran out while waiting for fuel.
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis made an important stop to donate blood in between shifts working with Pasco and Collier County agencies on relief efforts.
From all of us at FOX 13 News, thank you to all of the law enforcement and first response agencies who serve our communities.