Sheriff's departments in Lucas and Ottawa counties are preparing to send an eight-member team to Louisiana to help provide security in the wake of Hurricane Rita.
Officials from both counties said they were notified by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency that the law-enforcement personnel were needed in the area around Lake Charles, which suffered extensive wind and flood damage when the hurricane struck Saturday.
Four members of the Lucas County sheriff's critical immediate response team and four employees from the Ottawa County sheriff's office are expected to meet tomorrow and depart for the 19-hour drive.
Lucas County Sheriff James Telb said the northwest Ohio contingent will spend 16 days in Louisiana, providing security in place of exhausted local officers who have worked since the storm came ashore.
Statewide, 50 law-enforcement officers are being sent to Louisiana at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"We knew there was going to be a call," Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton said. "We have to pull together. If everybody does a little part, we can get these communities back to where they should be. I had officers signing up right and left wanting to go."