News from the desk of Sheriff James Potter


"Stay Safe this Hurricane Season"

June 1st kicked off the 2023 Hurricane Season, and we want to ensure all citizens in our community are prepared to stay safe. On September 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made its landfall in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm. As the deadliest storm to strike the United States this century, our community faced damage and destruction, after it rammed through the state, leaving behind recovery efforts people continue to fight through still to this day.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office staff worked a total of 11,249.5 hours during Hurricane Ian recovery. Consisting of initial search and rescue efforts, then search and recovery, and after the storm passed through, for weeks our Sheriff’s Office staff worked around the clock through debris and flood waters delivering resources and supplies to citizens in need. Law enforcement agencies from all over the state dispatched personnel, vehicles and equipment to assist aid in the Hurricane Ian relief effort.

I want to take the time to explain how our law enforcement agency works closely with other emergency response organizations in the event of a natural disaster. We send 4-5 of our staff including supervisors, law enforcement deputies and 9-1-1 telecommunicators to assist efforts at the DeSoto County Emergency Operation Center (EOC). These staff members help our agency to respond quickly and efficiently by coordinating missions for requests that involves communicating with state officials and getting extra response assistance for our law enforcement agency.

While we work with other emergency response organizations to ensure the public is informed with all essential alerts and messages. We advise all questions and concerns regarding road closures, evacuation zones, fuel replenishment and storm related questions to be directed to the EOC.

As hurricane season is officially here, I urge everyone to prepare a plan for their family, animals, and homes. Now is the time to ensure you and your family have plenty of water, food, and medications to support you for an extended period. Stock up on batteries, know your area regarding flood and evacuation zones, and prepare your family for the worst.

I encourage you to take the time now to review your family reunification plan in case of separation, as well as essential emergency contact phone numbers and insurance policies. Make sure to keep your phones charged so you can get timely notifications on storm paths and evacuation data.

This year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. For more information regarding hurricane season and preparations, visit the websites below:
Connect with DeSoto County Emergency Management and sign up for alerts on the app at:

Please download the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office App for updates and alerts during a storm on Google Play or at the Apple App Store. Your safety is the priority of the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.
Be Alert, Be Safe, and Be Kind.
God Bless,

Sheriff Potter