Just when people are in need of some levity after the threat of Hurricane Irma, the Internet comes to the rescue.
Police officers have been posting photos of themselves responding to the tropical storm, which continued to barrel north Tuesday as it lost strength, and followers have been appreciative. In fact, they’ve been so appreciative that they have posted comments to Facebook by the hundreds, and prompted one police department to promise a calendar and ask followers to stop calling 9-1-1 and asking for the officers.
It seems to have started when the Gainesville, Fla., Police Department posted a photo of three officers — identified as Officers Nordman, Hamill and Rengering — “getting ready to do some work” as they squint fetchingly for a selfie.
As of Tuesday night, the post had generated 261,000 reactions, including that of one follower who dubbed the officers #hurricanebae. The public had other names for them too.
“The hunkapotumus is a rare, elusive, and mythical creature,” commented Jaime Lee Daniels. “Here we are lucky to see 3 huddled together in the wake of Hurricane Irma. I’m a well trained hunkapotumus handler. Send them my way and they will be well taken care of.”
“So, looks like my next vacation will be spent in Gainesville rolling through stop signs and driving with a tail light out every evening until I’ve been pulled over by the entire night shift,” wrote L.J. Rhodes.
No one could be reached at the agency by telephone or on social media Tuesday night, but the department did say on Facebook that comments were cracking them up and, “You’ve actually made our chief blush with some of them.” The post referred to Chief Tony Jones.
The agency also posted that “MRS.” Nordman and “MRS.” Hamill appreciated that their husbands were so popular and added, “We can confirm that Officer Rengering (far right with the amazing hair) is single.”
That post was followed by more, including another that was shared repeatedly on social media of an Officer Hatcher smiling and leaning against his cruiser, biceps evident.
“Who does your recruiting Gainesville Police Department?” asked Shirley Saccoccia. “Give them a raise. #hottiePD.”
“I don’t see a wedding ring on Officer Handsome…I mean Hatcher,” commented Maria Castle.
Not to be outdone, the Sarasota Police Department chimed in with a photo of its own posted to social media of four officers — identified as officers Raulerson, Craig, Gloeckner and Hughes — perched against what looks to be a police-issue sports utility vehicle as they assisted with rescues from Irma’s flood waters in North Port, Fla.
“Gainesville Police Department has nothing on us,” the Sarasota agency posted on Facebook.
No one from the Sarasota agency could be reached Tuesday night by telephone or via social media.
“Good lord it’s a hottie police dept battle now,” commented Nicole Morrill Stephens.
Wrote Amber Yerkes, “Looks like I’m moving to Florida.”
The Gainesville department also promised that a calendar is in the works and proceeds will benefit Irma recovery in Florida.