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Dennis Wise

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Honor Above All Else: Removing the Veil of Secrecy
Dennis Wise  More Info

About the Walton County Sheriff’s Office

The Walton County Sheriff's Office has been serving the citizens and visitors of Walton County, dating back to its first Sheriff, Michael Vaughn, in the 1820s.  Currently, the Sheriff's Office employs over 200 people and has an operating budget of $14.6 million for FY2006.  This is an increase from 2001, where there were about 150 employees and an operating budget of $8.8 million.  The current employee structure consist of patrol deputies, criminal investigators, narcotics investigators, school resource officers, beach patrol, corrections officers, and support staff.  Over 24% of the sworn officers have five or more years of experience in law enforcement.  The percentage of female sworn officers has grown from 6% in 2001 to 19% in 2006.


Additionally, more deputies have college degrees than ever before.  Approximately 13% have received an Associate's, 13% have received a Bachelor's, and 4.2% have received a Master's.  Today's deputies are committed to higher education, with many of them currently taking classes, despite already receiving their respective degrees.


The Walton County Sheriff's Office handled over 71,725 calls for service in 2006.  That is up from 58,474 in 2005.  And up from 45,427 in 2001!  Depending on the priority and severity of the call, the average response time is approximately three (3) to four (4) minutes.  These calls range from traffic accidents to animal rescues to lost children to power lines being down.  Also offered is a full range of civil assistance and paperwork, such as fingerprinting, criminal background checks, summons, subpoenas, Crimestoppers, Neighborhood Watch, and more. 


The main administration building is located at 72 North Sixth Street, just off of U.S. Highway 90, in DeFuniak Springs.  There are substations located throughout the county, Santa Rosa Beach, Freeport, and Paxton.  




Dennis Wise is a 35 year veteran of law enforcement and the former Public Information Officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (Florida).  As a police officer, he worked a variety of departments in Florida, including Lauderdale Lakes and Pembroke Parks.  According to Dennis Wise, his book Honor Above All Else: Removing the Veil of Secrecy, is an “account of life in the crosshairs of the street thugs and drunk drivers.”  He also remarks that, “Everyone who has ever been a cop soon learns that many times his worst enemy actually wears a badge, and so the joust begins. Not only does he have to watch his back from the public, he has his own kind to fear.” 

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