Every minute counts when it comes to searching for a loved one. 14 employees and 1 employee with the Crestview Police Department are now trained with the necessary tools to search for adults and children who may wander due to cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, autism and dementia. The new members are comprised from several areas of the Sheriff’s Office – Beach and Marine Unit, Sheriff’s Posse, Communications and Patrol. The training included two days of on-site instruction and re-certification is every two years. The Project Lifesaver Program was
introduced in Walton County in 2008. To date, the Sheriff’s Office has 19 certified members for the program with 5 also certified as instructors.
Nationwide there are 45 states that participate in the program. The method of operation relies on specially trained search and rescue teams and radio technology. For citizens enrolled in the program, they are given a small transmitter to wear on their wrist or ankle that emits an individualized tracking signal. If the enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency and a trained emergency team responds to the wanderer’s area.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone interested in the Project Lifesaver Program to contact Lt Danny Garner or Deputy Harold Shover at 850-892-8186 for more information. Project Lifesaver International also provides additional information about the program at www. projectlifesaver.org.
Victor Nguyen, 18, of Santa Rosa Beach is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Last night (Monday), Deputy Kenneth Leavins was patrolling the Driftwood Estates subdivision located in Santa Rosa Beach due to the recent residential and car burglaries in the area. Deputy Leavins turned onto Red Bay Court and immediately noticed a male suspect who later was identified as Nguyen, urinating next to someone’s driveway. Deputy Leavins made contact with Nguyen who initially walked away from him, staggering and appeared to be intoxicated. Deputy Leavins asked Nguyen to walk to his patrol car and at that time Deputy Leavins could smell a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Nguyen shoved Deputy Leavins and ran. Nguyen’s escape was blocked after a resident from the home walked out in front of him. Deputy Leavins attempted to take Nguyen into custody but Nguyen grabbed Deputy Leavins around the body, picked him up and threw him to the ground. Nguyen’s actions posed a violent threat towards Deputy Leavins after several commands to stop resisting were given. For his safety, Deputy Leavins had to place Nguyen in a vascular neck restraint before Nguyen finally submitted and placed his hands behind his back.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office located Max “Mickey” Hubert Garodnick, 47, of Freeport at 11:15 am today. Garodnick was seen on a boat named “Mother” moored at the Freeport Shipyard on Lafayette Creek. Prior to contact, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Beach Patrol were patrolling the area by boat and noticed an individual on the “Mother”. Contact was made with the boat’s owner who stated no one should be on the boat. Shortly after, verbal contact was made with the individual on board confirming it was Garodnick. Garodnick was found to be in good health and transported to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Many resources were utilized since Thursday in Garodnick’s search. The Walton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Bay and Escambia County Search and Rescue teams for their assistance in locating Mr. Garodnick.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its search for Max “Mickey” Hubert Garodnick, 47, of Freeport. Garodnick, who has not had his medicine in over 100 hours, was last seen on 7/18/2013 (Thursday), wearing khaki board shorts, a blue short sleeve button up shirt and no shoes. He was walking into the swamp area of Lafayette Creek and Hwy 20. Over the weekend the Sheriff’s Office utilized boats and ATV’s to search the area of where Mr. Garodnick was last seen. Anyone with information on Mr. Garodnick is asked to please contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 850.892.8111.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is proud to announce the graduation of Lieutenant Andy Casavant, Lieutenant Robert Gray and Lieutenant Don Savage from the 67th class of the Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course on Friday, July 19, 2013.
“I commend these lieutenants for their commitment to maintain and strengthen their leadership skills,” said Sheriff Adkinson. “These new skill sets they have learned will not only benefit our agency but the residents and visitors of Walton County”. Lieutenant Don Savage stated, “The experiences I encountered thru the Southern Police Institute course was extremely positive. The course will assist me in growing as a leader and a manager.”
The 400 hour training course was held in Fort Lauderdale and provides practical law enforcement management courses designed to prepare students with the ability to enhance internal communications, develop alternative solutions to specific problems, develop risk management strategies and develop high ethical standards for police personnel. The Southern Police Institute training is considered a requirement for many law enforcement agencies for the position of executive management or CEO.
The Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Course is provided by the University of Louisville.
For more information about the course, visit http://louisville.edu/spi
(L to R Major Joe Preston, Lt. Robert Gray, Lt. Andy Casavant, Lt. Don Savage and Capt. Mike Howell)