Nearly seven years after more than 100 Indiana troopers went to Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, residents are paying them back by raising funds to help those who lost their homes in February's deadly tornadoes.
Police in Biloxi, Miss., held a red beans and rice lunch fundraiser this week to raise money for two Indiana troopers who lost their homes in the Feb. 29 tornadoes.
In the weeks after the 2005 hurricane, Indiana State Police sent more than 100 troopers to the city to allow local police to rest and to help rebuild homes there.
"They were invaluable to us. They sent waves of their police down. They stayed in tents on the coliseum grounds. They slept outside," Michael Brumley with the Biloxi Police Department told WLOX. "They rode with our officers in our city, patrolling the streets. We were able to give our guys days off for the first time in a couple of weeks."
Residents, too, said they remember seeing the Indiana troopers out in force in their community.
"I remember the trooper cars down here during the storm, and so when I heard about this, there's no way I could not come down," said Dennis Furey. "They were the most visible angels in the wake of the hurricane. They were everywhere along the coast."
Biloxi police served up more than 30 gallons of red beans and rice during the fundraiser, which sold out in 45 minutes. The event raised more than $1,300 for the Indiana State Police Disaster Relief Project/Benefit Fund.
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