Nevada Officers: Amazing People of Pascagoula

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is overwhelming, even for the Southern Nevada officers helping out with relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Reporter Brian Allen spoke with two local law officers Tuesday about their experiences in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Tom Urso said, "It is amazing, the devastation out here. You watch the news and see what's going on you just don't take, it doesn't have the impact until you're down here looking."

Tom Urso is with the Nevada Highway Patrol. He says every night when he tries to go to sleep all he sees, when he closes his eyes, is the debris left behind by Katrina. But what's in his heart is how wonderful the people of Pascagoula have been. How they always tell him thank you.

Tom Urso is a big guy, but not too big to get a little choked up. "These people that wanted help, you know, they're thanking you for being there. They're thanking you for being there and it's just…it's hard to accept that they're so nice and they're so giving and we're out here to help them. That's been hardest for me."

Pascagoula residents aren't trying to kill anyone with kindness. But they appreciate what these Nevada officers are trying to do for them.

Todd Raybuck said, "Everywhere you look there's piles of wood, furniture and some places it's nothing but a concrete slab. But these folks haven't lost their hope."

Todd Raybuck is a detective with Metro Police. He is spending these days patrolling Pascagoula, searching for those who need help, searching for the meaning behind all of this. "It's the shock. It's the sadness. It's the indescribable. It's all of that combined."

So what is the deeper meaning of all this? What are we suppose to learn from all this pain and suffering? Sounding more like a Sunday morning pastor than a policeman, Todd Raybuck tells what he has learned, "Don't let Katrina steal your soul."

Katrina was tough. In the end, Pascagoula will be tougher.

Since arriving in the Gulf Coast, the Nevada officers have helped connect a hurricane victim with his father in Las Vegas. They also coordinated Red Cross assistance to a small Mississippi county that hadn't received relief since the hurricane hit.

The officers are coming back home to Nevada this weekend.

Contact Reporter Brian Allen


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