CAR BURGLARS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF UNLOCKED DOORS; FIREARM STOLEN

Suspect PicFor Immediate Release

February 7, 2018

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla— Suspects burglarize 13 unlocked vehicles early Tuesday morning stealing a computer, camera, cash and a loaded firearm.

Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office are investigating multiple burglaries in the Cypress Breeze subdivision and Watersound North. Although the more than a dozen occurrences happened in separate neighborhoods, investigators believe them to be related.

Video surveillance collected from both communities show suspects checking door handles and sifting through vehicles.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office is urging, in fact begging, residents to lock their vehicles. Whether you are home, running into the store, paying for gas, etc. always remember to HIDE your belongings, LOCK your doors, TAKE your keys.

If you have any information on the identity of these two individuals you are asked to call Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 or you can remain anonymous by calling Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS. Submit a web tip athttp://www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com/ or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile Application.

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WALTON COUNTY FIRE RESCUE FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE RESIDENTIAL FIRE IN DEFUNIAK SPRINGS

February 5, 2018

DeFuniak Springs, Fla—Walton County Fire Rescue respond to a structure fire on Cosson Road in DeFuniak Springs to find a fully engulfed mobile home.

Last night at 8:08 PM a 911 call promptly dispatched Walton County Fire Rescue crews to 2817 Cosson Road in reference to a residential fire. Firefighters and Paramedics arrived within minutes to find a mobile home fully-engulfed in flames.

Walton County Fire Rescue battled the fire for roughly 30 minutes alongside DeFuniak Springs Fire Department and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department firefighters before the fire was contained. One WCFR firefighter suffered minor injuries while fighting the blaze and was transported to a local hospital. Fortunately, all residents made it out of the home safely and no one was injured.

Electrical issues are believed to be the cause of the fire. Fire rescue crews cleared the scene just after 11:00 PM.

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K9 JESTER JOINS REVAMPED WCSO K9 TEAM

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February 2, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla— A new K9 has joined the Walton County Sheriff’s Office family and wasted no time making an impact on drug enforcement.

K9 Jester, a Netherland born one-year-old Belgian Malinois recently joined the revamped K9 Unit at WCSO.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office made the decision in October to pursue certification through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – an 18-week endeavor.

The move narrowed down the team from six K9’s to three; with Drago and Kayne remaining.

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K9 Ella, who was with WCSO for more than a decade, retired and was approved to live at home with her previous handler along with K9 Duko, K9 Faro and K9 Rocky. Ella passed away surrounded by those she loved in December.

The three-dog team is led by Sergeant Kristin Pond, who has worked with K9’s for more than a decade, along with Deputy Steven Tector.

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K9 Jester was picked up from Police Service Dogs out of Oxford, Florida before getting certified for drug detection and apprehension with the help of his handler Deputy Damon Byrd.

“His first week out on the road, he made two felony narcotics cases,” said Deputy Byrd. “I couldn’t ask for a better dog.”

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WCSO TO HOST MOCK KIDNAPPING EXERCISE

THIS IS AN EXERCISEFor Immediate Release

February 1, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla— A week from today Walton County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a two-day exercise aimed at evaluating law enforcement’s response to a child kidnapping.

The Region 1 C.A.R.T. (Child Abduction Response Team) is made up of multiple agencies in Northwest Florida who respond when a child goes missing.

This exercise will show the proficiency of C.A.R.T to respond to a real-world scenario involving a child abduction.

“This kind of training and certification is vital in the event of an actual abduction,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson.

Upon conclusion Northwest Florida C.A.R.T (Child Abduction Response Team) will be graded to receive national certification through the Department of Justice.

February 8th and 9th residents can expect to see an increase of activity, including the use of helicopters and K9s, in DeFuniak Springs. Specifically, the community center and in the area around Walton High School.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office has chosen to release this information so role players in this exercise will not be mistaken for real world criminals and so the public is not alarmed at the law enforcement presence in their community.

“We appreciate our resident’s patience and understanding as we work in protecting our most important assets— our children,” said Adkinson.THIS IS AN EXERCISE

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TURN ‘EM IN TUESDAY

Walton County Sheriff’s Office is actively seeking information on the location of Cody Lee Tullis, 22. Tullis was featured on our Turn ‘Em In Tuesday campaign back in September of 2017 and arrested within 24 hours. Deputies in Freeport are actively looking for Tullis in reference to his violation of probation.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Cody Lee Tullis you’re asked to call the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at (850)-892-8111 or you can remain anonymous by calling Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS. Submit a web tip athttp://www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com/ or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile Application.

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LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS GRADUATE FROM 40TH FLORIDA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

FDLE GraduationFor Immediate Release
January 26, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute announces the graduation today of 36 first-line supervisors from the Florida Leadership Academy. These graduates serve in leadership roles representing 22 criminal justice agencies throughout the state.
The graduates met for four week-long sessions at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in Miramar Beach, Florida. They learned skills necessary to support the needs of their agencies and their communities as they prepare for future challenges.
The goal of the Florida Leadership Academy is to prepare first-line supervisors in criminal justice organizations to exemplify the character and integrity expected of criminal justice professionals and to examine the various components necessary to be an effective leader.
The following are the graduates from the 40th Florida Leadership Academy out of Walton County Sheriff’s Office:

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Sergeant Dustin Burlison

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Sergeant Jennifer Scott

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Sergeant Cory Webster

The Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, which is housed within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and affiliated with the State University System, was established in 1990 by the Florida Legislature to address the need for an innovative and multi-faceted approach to the education and training of criminal justice professionals.

For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Jessica Cary or Jeremy Burns
FDLE Office of Public Information (850) 410-7001.

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INMATES EYE NEW FUTURE IN WELDING

Welding 3For Immediate Release

January 25, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla—Inmates incarcerated at the Walton County Jail are learning a craft that dates back to the middle ages.

Eight inmates, including Escambia county inmates currently housed in Walton County, are participating in a six-week on site welding class conducted by Northwest Florida State College.

Over that time, inmates will learn flux core welding and how to use tools such as a cutting torch and a plasma cutter. Those participating in the welding program will be tested as they progress in the course taught by NWFSC Adjunct Professor Scott Bennett.

“I love to teach and pass on my knowledge,” said Bennett. “If I can make a difference in their lives for better that’s all I could ask for.”

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Walton County Sheriff’s Office is partnering up with Northwest Florida State College to work with Panhandle businesses like Eastern Shipbuilding Group and Gulfstream Shipbuilding to provide inmates employment opportunities when they are released.

“Our goal is to reduce the chance of these men to return to jail and increase their odds at a brighter future,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Hopefully, they will see this as an opportunity to change their life when they return to the community.”

The idea to initiate a program came as the success of the Walton County Jail “grow program” grew.

“Changing lives is in everyone’s best interest,” said Adkinson.

The first inmates to go through the program are nearly a week into the six-week course. In the future, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office plans to start additional vocational opportunities such as heavy equipment operations.

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ACCIDENTAL FIRE INJURES INMATE; ESCAMBIA INMATE PRAISED FOR QUICK ACTION

For Immediate Release

January 22, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla— A Walton County inmate was severely burned Thursday while trying to start a piece of equipment.

At around 8am Thursday morning, Jason Brase, 22, an inmate assigned to a county work crew received 3rd degree burns while assisting his work supervisor with a piece of equipment off Engles Road in DeFuniak Springs.

As Brase was frantically trying to put out the fire on his clothing, Escambia County inmate Reco Brewington, 26, immediately removed his own coat, gained control of a panicked Brase and subsequently put the fire out.

After he was transported, medical staff present at the hospital said that if it had not been for the efforts put forth by Brewington, Brase’s injuries would have been far more extensive.

Brase underwent surgery Friday and was released on Saturday.

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DEPUTY SAVES CHILD FROM CHOKING

IMG_7922For Immediate Release

January 18, 2018 

CHIPLEY, Fla—Sometimes the pieces just fall into place.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Thomas Corbett wasn’t planning on going to lunch Wednesday, January 17th. But, he and three others attending Florida Panhandle Technical College in Chipley decided to grab a bite to eat at Javier’s Mexican Grill.

“He didn’t want to go at first,” said Deputy Tyler Elmore, also a WCSO employee.

Elmore was the one who eventually convinced Corbett to go. But, that wasn’t the first piece to fall into place. Or even the second.

The day before, Sergeant Joseph Rozeir (Ret.) taught his entire class on first aid.

“I actually changed the schedule around this week,” said Rozeir, Corrections Coordinator and Instructor at FPTC. “But, I moved some things around last minute. Something spiritual was going on; no matter how you look at it.”

Corbett, Elmore and two others, WCSO Deputies Kyle Pearce and Pablo Dade were all in attendance. They learned how to perform CPR and how to do an abdominal thrust to save a victim who may be choking.

Then, the final piece.

Corbett sat across the restaurant from a large party. When he was almost finished with his meal he noticed a small boy stand up. Corbett immediately knew what was happening when he saw a small amount of saliva coming from the boy’s mouth.

He was choking.

Kayln Hardin felt Corbett’s chair hit hers as he got up to run over.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening,” said Hardin, who was also eating at Javier’s that day. “I could tell the little boy was losing consciousness.”

As Corbett got to the table, the little boy slumped over in his chair.

“I immediately positioned my hands to perform the abdominal thrust,” said Corbett. “The boy was small enough to where I eventually switched and tried a few back blows.”

Elmore, Pearce and Dade quickly starting clearing chairs in case CPR became necessary.

The piece of food came loose. Tears started to run down the little boy’s face.

“I just looked at him and asked him if he was alright,” said Corbett. “He started to cry and his mother rushed him into the bathroom.

“He just went back to his table and sat down,” said Hardin. “I just kept thinking ‘he just saved that boy’s life.’”

Corbett and the three other men paid their bill and returned to class.

“Call it divine intervention,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “Whatever you believe in; there was something at work here.”

“All I want to do is work every day to become a better person,” said Corbett. “And change people’s lives for the better.”

Some would argue that it’s that decision – the decision to become a law enforcement officer— that may have been the first piece to fall into place.

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SUSPECT ARRESTED ON METH CHARGES AFTER FLEEING DEPUTIES

methFor Immediate Release

January 16, 2018

PONCE DE LEON, Fla—  On January 11th a deputy in the area of County Highway 1883 and Double Pond Road noticed a maroon Ford Ranger with Texas tags parked partially in the roadway.

The deputy ran the vehicle tag and discovered the registration expired in 2013. In addition, the registration listed the truck as a 4-door Toyota, which this vehicle was not.

When the deputy approached the vehicle a male was sitting in the passenger seat with what appeared to be freshly broken glass inside of the vehicle on both sides. The driver’s side lock also appeared to have been punched. The subject was acting increasingly nervous and was asked to exit the vehicle.

The male was asked his name and stated it was “Corey”. The deputy then asked if his last name was Kendrick, due to complaints of him stalking a female in the area. The subject advised his name was Corey Jason and provided a date of birth in 1996. When the deputy asked how old that would make him he could not answer.

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Corey Kendrick

 

The deputy then attempted to put the subject into custody when he began running north on County Highway 1883. The deputy pursued the subject on foot as backup units were responding. He was found lying in the woods shortly after and was taken into custody without further incident. Deputies compared the male to previous photos of Corey Kendrick and determined it was him.

The vehicle was searched and located on the passenger floorboard was a black Costa Del Mar Sunglass case. Inside the case was a black film canister containing approximately 4.5 g of methamphetamine, a scale with crystalline residue, and two capped syringes with apparent narcotic residue.

Kendrick was charged with possession of amphetamine with intent to sell, giving a false ID to a LEO, resisting arrest without violence and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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