NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
June 30, 2009
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420


     Due to ongoing budget constraints, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office continues to take significant cost-cutting measures.  After a hiring freeze was implemented in March 2009, critical needs positions only could be filled  - and only by utilizing existing staff.  To date, the  twelve positions listed below have been eliminated.  The estimated annual saving in salaries exceeds one-million dollars.

             Chief of Staff

2              Director of Support Services

3             Assistant Director of Administration

4             Assistant Director of Information Technology

5             Finance Manager

6             School Resource Officer

7             School Resource Officer

8             School Resource Officer

9             Records Clerk

10           Records Clerk

11           Records Clerk

12           Records Clerk

     Ongoing budget and personnel cuts have required additional re-organization and consolidation of duties. Effective Sunday June 28th, 2009 Major Larry Ashley was promoted to Chief Deputy .  His duties include oversight of all Sheriff's Office Operations as well as direct oversight of Legal, Professional Standards, Fleet/Facilities, Inventory, Contracts, Homeland Security, and Public Information. Major Larry Donaldson commands the Field Services Division and Major Mark Schniepp commands the Investigative Services Division. Director Michael Hull maintains control of Information Technology and Communication Services. Director Leslie Frank assumes control of Administrative Services. 

     The Sheriff's Office is also readjusting its twelve-hour shift to address the overtime schedule for road patrol deputies. This will result in a minimal reduction in patrol hours on the road while more efficiently utilizing existing resources during peak call times. Sheriff Ed Spooner says it's a necessary move in this austere budget environment  and will save the agency an estimated $500,000 a year.      

     In addition Sheriff Spooner is eliminating thirty vehicles from the SheriffÂ’s Office fleet. A number of these are civilian and volunteer vehicles. A small vehicle pool has been established from remaining vehicles to address the travel needs of these personnel. This move equates to an annual cost-savings of $180,000 in gasoline and insurance alone. 

      Sheriff Spooner plans further reductions in other areas of the current fiscal budget through expanded reorganization of current duties and streamlining of targeted expenses.