The Emergency Management and Public Safety Communication Bureau, managed by Major Joe Preston, is the agency’s third largest division with a combined budget of $2.3 million. EM & PSC Bureau is comprised of 37 individuals who are committed to the preparation and safety of Walton County’s first-responders, citizens and visitors. The Walton County Board of County Commissioners transferred the responsibilities of Emergency Management services to the WCSO in June of 2009.
Emergency Management works with the Florida Department of Emergency Management (DEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during times of crisis to coordinate state and federal resources for the citizens of Walton County. EM prepares and champions the agency’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to ensure agency members are prepared to make alternative arrangements for off-site space, technology and financial systems in the event of damage or destruction of our agency facilities. Emergency Management consists of four (4) full-time members who are responsible for the preparation and response to all man-made and natural hazards within Walton County. Emergency Management members work with local, state and federal agencies and citizen groups to meet preparedness objectives including, but not limited to, planning, assessments, training, table-top and full-scale exercises to test capabilities and vulnerabilities.
Public Safety Communications
Captain Butler served as a correctional officer, working his way through the ranks. During his career, he has served as a patrol deputy, narcotics investigator, beach patrol deputy, lieutenant commander and as Captain in the uniform patrol division. Captain Butler’s 29 years of experience made him well qualified to head our bureau.
Walton County Sheriff’s Office Communications serves as the primary public safety answering hub for all 911 calls in Walton County. The Division is staffed with 37 dedicated individuals who are highly trained to handle emergency situations. The Division operates around-the-clock and processes more than 473 telephone calls per day. The telecommunications officers must complete a minimum of 690 hours of internal training and pass a state certification examination. Those who dispatch Fire and EMS calls must obtain training in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD). Telecommunications officers also receive training in FEMA-related courses and interoperable communications protocols that ensure Walton County can maintain communications through adverse conditions.
The Public Safety Communications section is responsible for all incoming 911 and administration calls for the WCSO, area fire departments and EMS. The joint communications center is comprised of 32 full-time members and is staffed around-the-clock.
In 2012, the WCSO processed more than 173,191 calls for service dispatched through police, fire, and emergency medical services for the citizens of Walton County. 911 coordinators ensure compliance with state and national emergency response directives and lead communication officers provide leadership during each shift.
• 173,191 calls for service
• 45,637 911 emergency calls
2012 major holiday call volume:
• Memorial Day- 577
• Independence Day- 677
• Labor Day- 550
• New Year’s Eve – 473
Road Closures: none
Walton County Maps: