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Walton County Sheriff's Honor Guard

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Misty, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Let me preface what I'm going to say about the Honor Guard. I have a ton of respect for the Sheriff's office and what they do and I'm only asking a question...not trying to start a "flame throwing" contest.

    Danny perhaps you can answer this...

    The Sheriff sent the Honor Guard Unit to Houston for the funeral of a Sheriff's Deputy (murdered Aug 28, 2015) to represent the Citizens of Walton County.

    How many men make-up the Honor Guard?
    How are these types of events funded?
    Is the Honor Guard sent to all funerals for fallen officers around the Country?
    Is there a travel and accommodations budget for these kind of events and if so, how big is that budget?
     
  2. Danny Glidewell

    Danny Glidewell Beach Fanatic

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    I really don't know much about how things are since I retired but depending on whether the guard serves as pallbearers or not the guard could number up to 13 or so. Probably in this instance about 6 would be a good guess. Unless some private citizen or company donated the money would come from the regular budget. Usually a representative(s) from the office attends officer funerals in Florida and South Alabama but who goes and when is at the discretion of the Sheriff. There used to be a line item in the budget for out-of-town travel but I don't know if that is still the case or how much is there. Of course, the sheriff can move money around the budget as he deems necessary. Hope this has been of some help.
     
  3. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Wow.

    So up to 13 people plus accommodations and travel expenses? The Sheriff is living large at taxpayer expense.

    I think sending a (1) rep and/or a memorial wreath would have been more than sufficient to pay respect to a fallen officer.
     
  4. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    I really would like to know what this is costing the taxpayers.

    Being from Texas, I'm well aware of the Harris County Honor Guard. It's the largest in the entire state and third largest in the United States. HPD trained at Arlington National Cemetery with the US Army's Old Guard and I can't imagine that there is anything more befitting this fallen officer than to be honored by his own State.

    If this was "assigned" by the Sheriff it also means overtime and salary costs, not to mention food, lodging, gas if they travel by automobile and round-trip plane fare if they flew....for up to 13 officer's?

    Is this just to get the Sheriff and the Deputies names in the paper and mentioned by the media? It literally serves no other purpose.
     
  5. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Sheriff Mike will do anything to attract positive attention to himself and get positive media.

    Sending the Honor Guard makes him look good. Its that simple. As for the money it costs, he doesn't care because he doesn't have to answer to anyone. Zero accountability.

    If the Honor Guard wanted to go, they should have paid their own way or solicited donations from the community or local businesses.

    Sounds like sheriff mike has lots of extra money lying around... yet he wants to purchase more new vehicles...

    Our sheriff's department needs to be focused on increases in violent crime in the area, preperation for Spring Break 2016, parking and other tourism related challenges and not so much about creating a positive media machine to make him look good.

    Thanks Misty for brining this to peoples attention. I still see several vehicles without the In God We Trust stickers. Hopefully, they'll all have them soon.
     
  6. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Those complaing about the Sheriff's operations should reconsider. He and his department do a very good job.
     
  7. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Andy, I prefaced what I had to say about the Sheriff. I have a ton of respect for the job he has done for Walton County but I am not a fan of flagrant disregard for taxpayer funding, I also understand paying respect to a fallen officer but in my opinion this was overkill. I can completely understand a memorial wreath and perhaps one (1) officer going to Houston but sending the Honor Guard (between 7 and 13 officers) when Houston one if has the largest Honor Guards in the country is beyond my comprehension.

    The taxpayers would be better served if the Sheriff was a bit more reserved in his spending.
     
  8. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Also sent a dozen or so to the FSU Game for "security".

    Remember, its end of budget year so we need to spend, spend, spend so we can show a depleated budget...

    Check WCSO Facebook for photo of the group.

    Someone please explain.

    Andy, you like the sheriff 'cause he wont enforce private beach rights... It's that simple.
     
  9. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Sounds like no one really knows about the guard and it's normal practice and function. Is it public info or a secret? No one seems to know.
     
  10. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    The Walton County Honor Guard is made up of about 13 individuals who act at the direction of the Sheriff. They are a ceremonial group who honor fallen officers and participate in other civic events.
     
  11. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Yes. But what is normal procedure for travel and funding for any local honor guard?
     
  12. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Historically as Danny mentioned, they do civic events locally and have attended funerals of fallen law enforcement officers here in Florida and Southern Alabama by sending a representative of the department at the discretion of the Sheriff. The Sheriff's office does have a travel budget and part of my inquiry is regarding that budget.

    While I agree with sending a (1) representative. I'd like to know what it cost to send between 7 and 13.
     
  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Honor Guard
    Group-Honor-GuardThe Honor Guard members are a ceremonial elite unit that is dedicated to upholding the highest values and traditions of law enforcement through a display of discipline, focus and teamwork. They are under the direction of Lieutenant Artie Rodriguez. Deputy Harold Shover is the coordinator and schedules upcoming events.

    Honor Guard members are committed to representing the Walton County Sheriff's Office and their law enforcement family, both locally and nationally. They honor fallen officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They remain ready to serve at the direction of the Sheriff and participate at various sponsored and special events.

    Honor-Guard

    During 2013, the Honor Guard was requested and participated in 26 events, totaling 155 hours and spent approximately 40 hours in training. The Walton County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard is civically minded and remembers our military veterans, as well as individuals and organizations that are dedicated to public service.
     
  14. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    I know all that. I want to know what it cost the taxpayers to send the Guard to Houston.
     
  15. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    My guess is that the honor guard is there to serve as needed locally, regionally and nationally and at the discretion of the sheriff. Which is probably funded as part of the budget and I see that as well and good.
     
  16. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Again Teresa....I want to know how much the travel budget is and what it cost!!!

    Unlike some, I don't agree with frivolous waste of taxpayer funding. I agree with sending a single rep and even a memorial wreath. The idea of sending upwards of 13 individuals to Houston Tx. for pomp and ceremony is IMO BS.
     
  17. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Probably each event or travel situation is different. You would have to ask Sheriff's office for details, I suppose. I do believe that he is elected to make these decisions. I don't know who watches his budget.
     
  18. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    ALL taxpayers should!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  19. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    But does any official County office or financial officer oversee the budget of the sheriff? Who the heck knows in this county. I agree it's important but not because of a guard and it's activities.

    My guess is the sheriff's budget is managed by the office of the sheriff, with oversight by the county and also auditors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  20. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Part of the reason the Sheriff's dept has become larger than life is because the taxpayers don't know until after the fact how tax dollars are being spent....that freakin armored vehicle is a prime example. How long has it sat in storage now?
     

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