Florida Sheriffs Association Names New Board Leadership

FLORIDA SHERIFF’S ASSOCIATION

JULY 26, 2017

The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA), one of the largest and most successful law-enforcement associations in the nation, is pleased to announce its leadership for the coming year. Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson has been elected President of FSA. Sheriff Adkinson will be responsible for presiding over the association, working with the staff and board of directors to guide the efforts and direction of FSA and its 67 Sheriffs.

“I am thrilled and honored to serve in this once-in-a-lifetime role,” Sheriff Adkinson said. “I hope to make the association and our community proud.”

Sheriff Mike Adkinson is a native of Walton County and is now in his 24th year of working in law enforcement. He has previously worked with the Florida Department of Corrections, Bureau of Parole, the Tallahassee Police Department, and the DeFuniak Springs Police Department. Prior to being elected sheriff, he was appointed as City Marshal/Chief of Police for the DeFuniak Springs City Police Department in September 2005.  Sheriff Adkinson and his wife of 17 years actively raise awareness for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes and have established a support group, Emerald Coast Type 1, to educate and support their community.

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Sheriff Adkinson is a graduate of Walton Senior High School and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University and a Master’s of Criminal Justice Administration from St. Leo University. He is a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Seminar #40.

“The association could not have a better leader taking the reins,” said Orange County Sheriff and Immediate Past President Jerry Demings. “Sheriff Adkinson loves his county, his state, his country, and his fellow sheriffs. I am honored to work with him and make his transition seamless.”

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Other FSA board appointments are:

  • Vice President: Sheriff Mark Hunter, Columbia County
  • Secretary: Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County
  • Treasurer: Sheriff Bobby Schultz, Gilchrist County
  • Immediate Past President: Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange County

“Each year, the Florida Sheriffs Association elects a new board of directors to lead our efforts for the coming year and through the legislative session,” said FSA Executive Director Steve Casey. “I have no doubt that the sheriffs elected by their peers to take on this role will lead with the honor and integrity that is the foundation of our association.”

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OVERNIGHT STRUCTURE FIRE DESTROYS FREEPORT MOBILE HOME

For Immediate Release

July 28, 2017

Freeport, Fla— An overnight residential fire destroys an unoccupied mobile home and threatens a nearby camper with residents inside.

At approximately 11:20 PM Thursday night, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a mobile home fire on North Street in Freeport. The resident stated that his neighbor’s singlewide mobile home was on fire. The neighbor quickly ran to a camper that was next to the burning mobile home to warn the residents of the nearby structure fire. All occupants managed to escape unharmed.

Walton County Fire Rescue and WCSO deputies arrived on scene to find the mobile home fully engulfed in flames. WCFR firefighters were able to contain the fire within 9 minutes and keep the camper from catching on fire, but the mobile home was completely destroyed.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire, and American Red Cross was called out to assist the residents of the disintegrated mobile home.

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TEXAS TEENS ARRESTED FOLLOWING HIT AND RUN, BURGLARIES, AND THEFT

For Immediate Release

July 26, 2017

Santa Rosa Beach, Fla— Two teenagers who drove from Woodlands, Texas to Walton County are behind bars following a multi-day crime spree beginning early Monday.

At 6am Wednesday multiple residents in the Nature Walk subdivision reported their cars had been burglarized and items missing. In addition, a model home in the community had been vandalized.

While canvassing the area deputies located burned AAA papers in front of 27 Cinnamon Fern Lane near one of the victim’s property. Also located at the rear of the residence was a club head cover identified by a victim as possibly belonging to him.

Parked in the driveway behind the home was a vehicle with damage to the left rear fender. The vehicle matched the plate and description of a car involved in a hit-and-run on Interstate-10 early Monday morning.

Mark Billiot, 18, and Donovan Estrada, 18, were taken into custody from the home. During interviews both admitted to the burglaries.

Further investigation revealed, the two had used “Snapchat” to highlight their activity since arriving in Walton County. In the videos, Billiot and Estrada showoff multiple pairs of Ray-Bans sunglasses, which they claim to have purchased while in Panama City Beach. A Walton County Sheriff’s Office crime analyst discovered the same sunglasses had been stolen from suspects matching the description of Billiot and Estrada from Sunglass Hut at Pier Park in Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach Police was contacted and is following up on the case.

“These two were arrested within hours of the initial call,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “That’s great police work.”

Billiot and Estrada were arrested for burglary; multiple counts of vehicle burglary, criminal mischief over $1,000, and grand theft. More charges could be forthcoming.

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CHILD TRANSPORTED AFTER FALLING INTO POOL  

 

MEDFLIGHT.jpgFor Immediate Release

July 26, 2017

Miramar Beach, Fla— At 9:24 am Deputies responded to 1935 Scenic Gulf Drive in reference to a baby that had fallen into a pool. Deputies took over CPR once they arrived on scene. South Walton Fire District transported to the child to Sacred Heart Hospital and Okaloosa Med Flight is standing by.

The child is 2-years-old and the family was visiting Walton County from Satellite Beach, Florida. More information will be released once it is available.

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“CHRISTMAS IN JULY” DELIVERED TO WCSO

Christmas in July .jpgFor Immediate Release

July 25, 2017

DeFuniak Springs, Fla—It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office in DeFuniak Springs.

Tuesday morning the Walton County Sheriff’s Office received a dozen bags full of gifts for needy children in our community from The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. These gifts came from the donations made after the Santa Patrol (Community Christmas) held last December.

The Sheriff’s Office has identified children who will receive the gifts and hope to give them out this week. Other organizations receiving gift bags are Opportunity Place, the Children’s Advocacy Center, Shelter House, Children in Crisis and all first responder groups.

Those pictured below (from left to right) are Deputy Harold Shover, Eva Wise with Catholic Christian Charities, Lieutenant Monica Rojas, Pastor, and Lisa Martinez with the Salvation Army.

 

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WCSO SEEKING INFORMATION FOLLOWING THEFT OF PAXTON BUSINESS

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 1.18.37 PMFor Immediate Release

July 24, 2016

On July 19, 2017 Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a theft call at Paxton Auto Parts located on U.S. Highway 331 North in Laurel Hill. The victim told deputies a vehicle pulled into the business at approximately 3:20 A.M. and was caught on surveillance video stealing items from the store. A male and female can be seen exiting the vehicle and loading boxes of parts waiting to be picked up.

The vehicle is described as a white two-door truck with black wheels, a black grill, and a black bumper. One of the subjects appeared to have some type of jersey on with a number on the back.

If you have any information on the above vehicle or persons involved please contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office ay (850)-892-8111 or you can remain anonymous by calling Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at (850) 863-TIPS. You can also submit a web tip at www.emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile Application.

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CRIME STOPPERS WEEKLY WANTED

 

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking information on the following subjects wanted out of our jurisdiction;

Chad Alford– White male, 41 YOA, 6’04”, 240 lbs., Black hair, Blue eyes.    This subject is wanted on  Felony Warrants for Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon w/out intent to kill and Conservative-Animal (Cause Cruel Death, Pain and Suffering).   He was last seen in Walton County Florida.

JC Smith– Black male, 5’11”, Black hair, Brown eyes.  This subject is wanted on a Felony Violation of Probation Warrant for the original charge of DWLSR/ Habitual Offender.   He was last seen in Walton County Florida.

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WCSO LAUNCHES CITIZEN SURVEY

19092880_10154447949511493_4259819071058656616_oFor Immediate Release

July 19, 2017 

DeFuniak Springs, Fla— Walton County Sheriff’s Office wants to hear from you.

In a continuous effort to improve customer service to the citizens and visitors of Walton County, the Sheriff is seeking citizen input to help gauge how the Sheriff’s Office is doing in the performance of their duties. We are also interested in not only improving, but in obtaining information as to other services we might add to benefit our citizens.

An outside firm is conducting the survey so all information collected can be properly analyzed by a neutral source. Anyone who fills out the information and answers the survey can rest assure their input is secure. Once the data is analyzed, re

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sults of the survey will be made available to the public.

We sincerely appreciate your input in helping us to improve our service to the citizens and visitors of Walton County and to our “Commitment to Excellence.”

To take the survey copy click on the following links or copy and paste them into your browser. You can also take the survey by scanning the QR Code.

Citizen Survey

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UPDATE: TWO IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2017

DeFuniak Springs, Fla— Two men are in custody following an investigation into a drive-by shooting in DeFuniak Springs early Monday morning.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office was called to Hermitage Road at approximately 7 a.m in reference to shots fired at a home and a truck. Witnesses identified Thurston Patrick Smith, 30, as a possible suspect in the shooting along with John Paul Cox II.

Smith was also wanted for felony violation of probation stemming from a case out of Washington County, Florida.

Thurston Patrick Smith was subsequently arrested at a residence off Turner Road in DeFuniak Springs Monday afternoon. A shotgun was also discovered.

Smith is charged with an out of county warrant for felony violation of probation, shooting into an occupied dwelling, discharging a firearm on the right-of-way, two counts of criminal mischief $1,000 or more and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

John Paul Cox II is charged with principle to shooting into an occupied dwelling, discharging a firearm on the right-of-way, two counts of criminal Mischief $1,000 or more and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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WCSO INVESTIGATING DRIVE BY SHOOTING; SWAT TEAM STAGING AT HOME WITH WANTED FUGITIVE

thumbnail_IMG_0221For Immediate Release

July 17, 2017 

DeFuniak Springs, Fla— The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident off Hermitage Road where shots were fired early this morning.

At approximately 7am Walton County Sheriff’s Office was called to Hermitage Road in response to a drive by shooting of a truck and house. A BOLO (be on the look out) was put out for a gold Pontiac coupe.

Witnesses identified Thurston Patrick Smith, 30, as a possible suspect in the shooting.

Smith was subsequently located at 187 Turner Drive and is currently wanted for felony violation of probation stemming from a case in Washington County, Florida. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was called to the scene at approximately 10:45 and is staging in the area.

More information will be released when it becomes available.

 

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