Five Walton County Sheriff’s Officials become “Voice” for Children

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Five volunteers are the first of their kind to become part of the Guardian ad Litem program.

All are deputies with the Walton County Sheriff's Office, earlier Monday they were sworn in for a different act of duty.

Among them Investigator Steve Sunday.

"We will just go into that residence and help that child the best that we can, with any needs it may need,” said Sunday.

Court appointed, these volunteers will be the "voice" for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

"I can't tell you how important it is because you aren't the department, you are not family first, you are the child's spokesperson,” said Judge Kelvin Wells.

Sally Barlow has been a part of the program for a few months.

She believes the deputies will be a great asset to the program.

"From what you see a lot of kids, and especially families, when they see law enforcement they think oh, I am in trouble,” stated Barlow. “But to have the law enforcement on the other side, it is reassuring that law enforcement is good."

And for Sunday, it is all about helping the children in Walton County.

"I am excited just to be a part of this and see if I can make a difference,” stated Sunday.

There is at least one Guardian ad Litem program in each of Florida’s 20 Judicial Circuits.