The Citizen Volunteer Unit focuses on individuals who wish to bring their talents and expertise wherever the WCSO finds a need. Some of the positions include Neighborhood Watch, administrative tasks and other duties. The Citizen Volunteer Unit provided 5,689.31 hours of assistance in 2013 with approximately 38 volunteers.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Posse started in 2010 with ten members and has now grown to twenty-four. The Posse Unit helps augment activities from within the Sheriff’s Office and gives citizens an opportunity to get involved with their community. They provide assistance to patrol, emergency services and community events. Its purpose is to save taxpayer money while providing sworn law enforcement officers with more time to respond to and focus on violent crimes and complex criminal investigations.
Citizen Posse volunteers patrol the entire Walton County area and are equipped with retired patrol vehicles. The volunteers assist in funeral processions, festivals, fairs, neighborhood patrols and other events that typically require a deputy’s presence. The Citizen Posse Unit’s greatest contribution is assisting disabled motorists. Volunteers are able to provide someone who was involved in an accident with a ride home. The Citizen Posse are not sworn law enforcement officers and do not possess arrest powers.
In November, 2013, the WCSO Posse received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. In 2003, President George W. Bush worked with Congress to initiate the “Presidential Volunteer Service Award.” The award was for both individuals and groups who dedicated their time for the betterment of their community. The WCSO Posse was nominated for the award and received a gold medal for reaching over 4,000 volunteer hours in 2013. The WCSO Posse is the first “sheriff’s group” presented this distinction in the state of Florida. The award is honored to groups in the following category: health, youth, parks and emergency. The WCSO Posse received the award in the “emergency” category.
Posse members are required to serve a minimum of sixteen (16) hours per month, but there is no minimum requirement for other Citizen Volunteers. Applicants must pass a criminal history investigation and interview. Uniforms and necessary equipment will be provided by the WCSO.
Applications are available ONLINE as well as at the following locations:
- Sheriff’s Office Administration Building, 752 Triple G Road, Defuniak Springs
- Sheriff’s Office Substation, 133 Sheriff’s Drive, Santa Rosa Beach