Walton 911 Control Remains With Sheriff

Walton County commissioners made a tough decision Tuesday night about the future of 911 services.

They were faced with giving part of the service to the South Walton Fire District, or leaving it with the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

It was a long debate between South Walton Fire District and the Walton County sheriff's office over who would be primary public safety answering point for 911 calls that originate in south Walton.

Les Hallman is the south Walton Fire Chief and says, “The South Walton Fire District is now requesting the board of county commissioners recognize the need for the South Walton Fire District to have the 911 communication center geographically located in South Walton."

Sheriff Ralph Johnson wants the county to respond to those calls though his department and made it clear he did not want to be divided north or south.

"The system belongs to all the citizens of Walton County I don't want to give control of 911 system to an agency that is not addressable to all citizens of Walton County."

After an hour long debate Walton county commissioners voted three to two to have the primary 911 answering point remain the same under the county's jurisdiction and headquartered in DeFuniak Springs.