The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Posse Unit helps gets get residents involved, while saving taxpayers some money.
"The posse unit is a valuable asset to the sheriff's office, made up of men and women, citizens of Walton County,” said Captain Audie Rowell, of the Sheriff’s Office. “They provide a wide range of duties for us from riding on patrol, assisting deputies."
Beginning in 2010 with only 10 members, the sheriff's office posse has grown to 24 members today.
But sheriff's officials say there's always room for more.
Volunteer coordinator Leah Snaith has been a member of the posse since it began.
She says the unit allows citizens to contribute to the community, and takes some of the work load off of the deputies.
"By being on scene first, we are staying at that lower priority call,” said Snaith. “This alleviates a deputy to a higher call, like a theft or burglary-something that needs an investigators attention."
"That helps us with calls for service, clerical work, and actually just clears up time for deputies with things that need to be done,” said Rowell.
Posse members are not sworn law officers, so they can't arrest people.
But Snaith says they have the proper training to make sure they stay safe until a deputy arrives on scene.
The Walton County Sheriff's Office Posse Unit received the presidential volunteer service award in November.