Homeland Security head, Nixon thank Joplin cops

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — The federal government’s head of homeland security joined Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to thank the thousands of police officers, firefighters and rescuers in the Joplin tornado.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Nixon on Thursday visited the destroyed St. John’s hospital and some Joplin areas hit hardest by the May 22 tornado. They also met with law enforcement officers, ambulance workers and others at Joplin’s emergency operations center.

The tornado’s 139 victims include a Riverside policeman hit by lightning while helping with the recovery. Thirty-one-year-old Jeff Taylor was injured the day after the tornado and died in the hospital June 3.

The governor’s office says that workers from more than 400 agencies responded to Joplin, aided by more than 15,000 volunteers.

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