Citizen Volunteer Program
The Citizen Volunteer Program consists of two branches: the Citizen Posse and the Citizen Volunteer. Both are non-sworn positions and volunteers are not armed.
Citizen Volunteer Unit
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 administrative tasks, Neightborhood Watch and other duties.
Citizen Posse Unit
Citizen Volunteers and Posse members are required to serve a minimum of 16 hours per month. Applicant must pass a criminal history investigation and interview. Uniforms and necessary equipment will be provided by the WCSO.
The Citizen Posse Unit is a volunteer service consisting of individuals who provide non-emergency assistance to citizens and law enforcement officers. Its purpose is to save taxpayer money while providing sworn law enforcement officers with more time to respond and focus on violent criminals 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. This can be as simple as parking their cars with their flashing yellow lights behind the motorist to keep them safe until assistance arrives, or changing a tire or taking them to get gasoline. Volunteers can are able to provide someone who was involved in an accident with a ride home. Citizen Posse members can also transport individuals away from locations where a domestic violence situation occurred. Citizen Posse are not sworn law enforcement officers and do not possess arrest powers.
How much does this cost the taxpayer?
The Citizens Posse program saves taxpayer dollars while increasing the safety of citizens and visitors of Walton County.
- This is a volunteer-based program.
- Its members do not receive a salary
- Aside from gasoline and “wear and tear” on retired vehicles, the program provides the public with more eyes and ears on the ground to keep our communities safe
Who can participate in the program?
The Citizens Posse Program is open to anyone from the ages of 19 to retired. Individuals must submit to a criminal history check prior to participating in the program.
Reserve Deputies are sworn law enforcement officers who have full arrest powers under state law and county ordinances. Reserve Deputies are equipped with uniforms, firearms and have access to patrol vehicles. Reserve Deputies must complete 660 hours of training for consideration into the volunteer program.
Auxiliary Deputies are sworn law enforcement officers who must complete 327 hours of law enforcement education and training. Members must complete various departmental courses such as, driver training, communications, emergency management and first aid, patrol techniques, departmental guidelines, legalities and firearms training. Upon completion, the member is able to ride along with a sworn deputy and perform many law enforcement functions.
For more information about these programs, please contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (850) 892-8186.