Deputy Blake McCormick has been chosen as the Walton County Sheriff’s Office sworn employee of the quarter for 2013. The announcement was made during an awards ceremony held this afternoon. Deputy McCormick has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2007 and is currently assigned to the School Resource Deputy (SRD) Unit at South Walton High School. Deputy McCormick has a natural ability to connect with students on their level and they have accepted him not only as a deputy but as a role model they can relate to and trust. Deputy McCormick is a consummate professional to the law enforcement profession and has helped improve the SRD program by building a personal and professional bond between him and the school administrators and students. David S. Preast, Principal, of South Walton High School stated, “I have worked with many other School Resource Officers over the last fifteen years in secondary school settings as a teacher and the last eight years as an administrator. I can honestly say that Blake McCormick is by far the most dedicated and hardest working School Resource Deputy I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
In addition, Deputies Brad Barfield and Deputy Casey Lloyd both received Lifesaving Medals this afternoon for responding to a swimmer in distress. On June 10, 2013, a seven year old boy in an inner-tube was swept away from his father due to a very strong rip current at Grayton Beach State Park. Both deputies were able to get father and son safely to shore and are commended for their quick response and outstanding performance. A third officer, Deputy Monty Lollie, also received a Lifesaving Medal for responding to a medical assist call at Lowe’s on June 30 in reference to an individual who was unresponsive and not breathing. Deputy Lollie attached the leads of his AED and shocked the individual twice. A follow-up was made and the individual was in stable condition and was being prepped to have a pacemaker procedure. It should be noted that Deputy Lollie responded to the medical call before it was transferred as a medical assist and he is praised for his hard work and attention to detail.
Deputies April Hantzis and Deputy Eric Traugott received a Meritorious Service Medal for responding to a Water Rescue at 15 Beach Walk Lane on June 9th. There was a swimmer in distress 75 yards off shore and the surf was rough with a strong rip current. Both deputies entered the water to assist the lifeguards in getting the swimmer out of the water. Sadly, the individual did not survive. Deputy Hantzis and Deputy Traugott risked their own lives to try and save another and they are commended for their bravery despite the danger.
Top Right Photo: Deputy Lollie
Middle Photo: Deputy Barfield (left) and Deputy Lloyd
Bottom Photo: Deputy Hantzis (left) and Deputy Traugott