SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — A new tool is in use for residents and visitors to quickly report crimes in Walton County.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office launched its new online reporting system to help report crimes faster and keep deputies free to respond to high-priority calls.
“The system needed to be convenient for the residents and visitors of Walton County, but it also needed to help relieve some of the calls for service and allow our deputies to respond quicker to high-priority calls. One of the other reasons is that we have a Spanish-speaking version, and so it gives our Spanish population another way to connect with us,” said Jennifer Fannin, WCSO Administrative Sgt.
The site is simple to use with more than a dozen different crime categories to report. You do need a working email address to file a report.
“Misdemeanor theft, retail theft, illegal dumping, identity theft, lost property lost tags, fraud, so we get a variety of calls, even animal complaints that are not aggressive traffic complaints,” said Fannin naming a few.
With this new tool, Fannin said there are times to not use it if there’s an immediate emergency or the suspect in the crime is still on scene.
“Anything that’s in progress would be your road rage, a burglary in progress, somebody loitering and prowling, even a retail theft. But if the shoplifter is still in the building you’re going to call dispatch. If the shoplifters are already gone, then you could use the app,” said Fannin.
The link is available on the sheriff’s website from a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet, and can be found on the Walton County Sheriff’s Office mobile app.
If you’re not comfortable using the online system you can still call dispatch or 911 and a deputy will respond to your location.
The Sheriff’s office said they have had three reports filed with the online system since November 1st. One for identity theft and two for lost property.