Walton County Sheriff addresses concerns over large teen crowds

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A video of teens seen running on a beach in Seagrove at night caught the attention of many online.

The lights in the video are just sheriff’s deputies moving the teens off the beach.

“There’s only so many deputies for 300,000 people, so what we will do is, we will get there and try and disperse it,” Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said. “I don’t want to leave the impression that we’re going to handcuff every kid we come in contact with because that’s not appropriate.”

Law enforcement officials say deputies will make frequent stops on private beaches to ensure people stay off of them.

Sometimes it’s not warranted.

“Either they’re getting too loud and too rambunctious and things of that nature, but I don’t want to mislead people,” Adkinson said. “We don’t just break up a large crowd of kids if there’s no particular issue, right?”

Some folks in South Walton haven’t dealt with any problems, either.

“We have not dealt with any rowdy kids at all,” visitor Jamie Scott said. “Most of the time we come here and the kids are usually really polite.”

“No, it’s just really busy and they’re a bunch of bikers,” said Oakley, a visitor.

The sheriff wants the public to know there is a fine line between breaking the law and causing a noise disturbance.

“One, there’s a difference between what we like and what’s illegal,” Adkinson said. “We need to be clear about that. We’ve had a lot of problems these last few weeks, particularly with the open house party, which is problematic, but we break up a lot of those kinds of things.”

Adkinson said the public shouldn’t hesitate to contact law enforcement if any problems or concerns arise.

After multiple attempts, some local business owners were not willing to be on camera.

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