Dear Walton County Residents,
As I embark on my 24th year in law enforcement, I’m reflecting on the many changes in philosophies and practices impacting the profession. Having worked in the state, municipal, and county public safety arena, I have developed a sense of what works and recognize the necessity of continued professional growth.
Prior to being elected Sheriff in 2009, I served at varying levels of law enforcement command structures from line supervisor to Chief of Police. These experiences have taught me to be adaptive and innovative in the pursuit of best practices driving the Walton County Sheriff’s Office towards excellence. Part of that pursuit is the understanding that learning is a lifetime journey and not simply a task to be accomplished. That is why I have made continuing education a priority for the men and women of our agency.
Walton County and the state of Florida face numerous challenges in the coming years. While crime is now at an almost 40-year-low, we are still seeing a rise in drug abuse. Walton County is dealing with a significant methamphetamine and prescription pill problem. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is now one of the state’s top performers in combating the manufacture of methamphetamine. But our efforts in enforcement will not be enough. We must look for other approaches outside of but including the law enforcement purview. Since taking over the Office of the Sheriff, we have collaborated with multiple agencies and have conducted large drug seizures and arrests, getting excessive amounts of illegal drugs off our streets. Additionally, we are in the process of seeking monumental preventative measures to help citizens protect themselves from the dangers of substance abuse and rehabilitation.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is committed to implementing a businesslike approach to improving efficiency and customer satisfaction. Bearing this in mind, I wholeheartedly believe it is my duty, as Sheriff, to provide public safety in all facets, not limited to law enforcement. In 2012, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office became an accredited agency and we have retained this status to date. We have attained this achievement in both law enforcement and jail.
In March 2014, Walton County Sheriff’s Office assumed control of animal services including the animal shelter and animal control. In 2017, our agency incorporated Walton County Fire Rescue, conducting fire and medical services north of Choctawhatchee Bay. Finally, in 2018, our agency entered a contract with the state to provide Child Protection Services.
During my time as Sheriff, we have handled challenges and obstacles from a wide range of areas, from COVID-19 to major homicide investigations. We have been recognized as a leader in law enforcement innovation and have received state accreditation. I believe the men and women of your Walton County Sheriff’s Office have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and a commitment to service to the citizens and visitors of this county. It is an honor and privilege to serve with them.