Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has released its 2016 annual report.
In a 76-page document, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office recapped its year that included purging 14,400 pound of evidence, saving 10 lives through NARCAN first aid-training for opiate overdoses and increasing its task force through an improved recruiting campaign.
The Sheriff’s Office also made more than 24,000 traffic stops — averaging nearly 66 per day — as well as 500 drug-related arrests. OCSO also served nearly 14,000 civil process papers, according to the report.
Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said he’s proud of the work the Sheriff’s Office accomplished last year.
“We had a lot of good things that happened last year,” Ashley said. “Our evidence division stepped up while solving their everyday cases and we were able to burn 52,511 items that were at their statute of limitations. That saved tax payers a lot of money by us not having to buy new storage facilities.”
Ashley added that the Sheriff's Office also revamped and improved its recruitment and hiring programs to draw “only the most qualified candidates.”
“In the beginning of the year we were 24 officers short,” Ashley said. “We’re rapidly catching up. We increased officers’ starting pay to $37,000 to $37,500 to try and pull in more folks.”
The document also highlighted the Sheriff's Office's National Accreditation re-certification, its Employees of the Year, School Resource Officers program and crime prevention statistics.
“I thank God every day that we live where we live and we have the Sheriff’s Office that we do,” Ashley said. “I’m sure every Sheriff thinks this, but we have a set of professionals that are second to none.”