Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr., is a sixth generation native of Walton County, Fla. and is a 1988 graduate of Walton Senior High School. Upon graduation, Sheriff Adkinson continued his education at Florida State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology in 1992. Sheriff Adkinson is a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Seminar # 40.
Sheriff Adkinson is a 17-year law enforcement veteran, having previously worked with the Florida Department of Corrections, Bureau of Parole; Tallahassee Police Department; and the DeFuniak Springs Police Department. Sheriff Adkinson has continued his criminal justice education by attending more than 2,000 hours of law enforcement training and has served as an adjunct instructor at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, which is one of the nation’s premier law enforcement academies. Sheriff Adkinson has also lectured at the university level on law enforcement issues.
In 2005, the DeFuniak Springs City Council appointed Sheriff Adkinson as City Marshal/ Chief of Police for the DeFuniak Springs City Police Department. In 2007, he returned to this position through the city’s general election by an impressive 68% of the vote.
During his term at the DeFuniak Springs Police Department, he implemented the agency’s first policy and procedures manual. Sheriff Adkinson became an accreditation manager and implemented the accreditation process. Sheriff Adkinson instituted formalized training procedures to help professionalize the agency. He increased the number of officers and raised their salaries to competitive levels. Sheriff Adkinson formed a citizens advisory committee comprised of local residents and business owners to provided input into departmental operations In 2007, he was selected to serve on the Ethics Committee for the Florida Police Chief’s Association, marking the first time a Walton County law enforcement officer has served in that capacity.
In Nov. 2008, Sheriff Adkinson was elected as Walton County Sheriff, taking 44% (in a field of seven) of the vote in the primary election, and 64% of the vote in the general election. Sheriff Adkinson took office Jan. 1, 2009.
Sheriff Adkinson has assumed the operations of both 911/joint communications and Emergency Management for the county.
Sheriff Adkinson has been married to his wife, Erin, for 15 years and has two beautiful daughters, Annabelle and Ava. The Adkinson family resides in DeFuniak Springs. The Adkinson’s are also members of the First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs. Sheriff Adkinson is an active member of the Parent Teacher Organization at West DeFuniak Elementary School and is a member of the Kiwanis Club. Sheriff Adkinson and his wife are active in raising awareness of Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes and established a support group, Emerald Coast Type 1, to reach out to other local families who have children with the disease.