SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Walton County Sheriff’s Office shared grim news about the death of posse unit leader Jon Kazek. 

Kazek was injured in a water training exercise with the Walton County Beach/Marine unit on October 23rd, Sheriff Adkinson said Kazek died from those injuries on October 30.  

Below is the full release by Sheriff Adkinson on Kazek’s death:

Our agency has suffered a tremendous loss this week. The leader of our volunteer unit and a dedicated public servant has passed away.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office Posse Unit Leader Jon Kazek was hospitalized after he was pulled from the water during a training exercise with our beach marine unit on Monday, October 23rd. Jon had been working with the beach patrol as he prepared to take on additional duties to assist the public.

During this last week, Jon fought hard to return to his family. However, his fight ended yesterday afternoon as he passed away surrounded by friends and family. We are simply heartbroken.

An integral part of our agency Jon was always willing to help, volunteer, and come to anyone’s aid when called upon. He donated thousands of hours over the years to the residents and visitors of Walton County. He was a familiar face on the beach surrounding Pompano Joes and up and down our beautiful coast. Jon was set on becoming the first member of the Posse on the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Beach/Marine Unit.

Jon had an undying passion to serve, and he did so without asking for anything in return. He will be forever missed. He leaves a void, but even greater, Jon leaves a legacy of service that all of us must now carry on in his memory.  

We are thankful to Jon’s wife of 24 years, Annie for her dedication in supporting Jon as he served Walton County and for the example of strength and character, she has shown during Jon’s battle this week. We are also thankful to the entire Kazek family for sharing Jon with us.

Jon was a man of faith, and we honor his dedication to stewardship and servant leadership.

May God keep and hold Annie, and the entire Kazek family in his arms during this time of grief. Please keep Jon’s family in your prayers.

Funeral services announcement will be forthcoming.

Godspeed #910

Mike Adkinson, Walton County Sheriff