For Immediate Release
June 6, 2017
DeFuniak Springs, Fla— A deputy responds to a home in Walton County after a family’s plea to check on a loved one. When their worst fears are realized the deputy’s actions aid in their grief.
“When my family and I could not get a response from my older brother, who lives in alone DeFuniak Springs, Florida, we became concerned,” wrote Matthew Stevens in a letter to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
Stevens and his mother live in Virginia while another one of his brothers resides in Washington. But, when their brother developed terminal kidney failure they feared for the worst.
“My brother’s condition had recently deteriorated and our family was aware death would not be far off,” wrote Stevens. “When he failed to respond to phone calls and texts from multiple friends and family members, I phoned WCSO to request they drive to his residence and check on him.”
The deputy who answered the call was Sergeant Johnny Jordan, who discovered Steven’s brother had passed at his residence earlier that morning.
“I am writing to specifically recognize the service he provided to my brother and our family from the time he arrived at my brother’s residence to the multiple follow-up phone calls, including his initial phone call to report my brother’s passing,” said Stevens of Sergeant Jordan. “He responded in a professional manner characterized by a steady/calm demeanor, appropriately conveyed empathy, use of self to facilitate a human connection, and steadfastness that kept him at the scene for an extended period.”
Following the incident Jordan called the family to notify them and continued to stay in touch until they arrived in Florida.
“Sergeant Jordan arrived on scene aware of what he may find, but surely hoping he wouldn’t find my deceased brother,” wrote Stevens. “He did for our family what we could not do ourselves, and he did this in a manner that represents the finest qualities of what the Walton County Sheriff’s Office hopes to see in all of their deputies.
“He provided his best to us at a moment that was far from our family’s best. For this, our family would like to recognize him and to thank the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.”
Jordan has been with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office since 2004.