WAS THAT YOU? We sure hope you weren't the resident to whose house we had to respond for a burglarized vehicle. After all, surely YOU remembered to take your belongings into your house and lock the vehicle. We appreciate that!
Crestview Police Department is located at 201 Stillwell Blvd, Crestview, 32536 FL. The Chief of Police of the department is Brian Mitchell. The Crestview Police Department phone number is 850-682-3544.
WAS THAT YOU? We sure hope you weren't the resident to whose house we had to respond for a burglarized vehicle. After all, surely YOU remembered to take your belongings into your house and lock the vehicle. We appreciate that!
TAKE! HIDE! LOCK! The Crestview Police Department and our friends at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office have noticed an uptick in vehicle burglaries. In every instance, personal property has been stolen from unlocked vehicles. "It's the same story, just a different day," patrol Sgt. Brian McCallum said. "People aren't locking their doors." Vehicle burglaries are almost always crimes of opportunities, in which the thieves just walk down a street testing the door handles of every car, pickup, SUV or van they pass. When they find an unlocked door, they can strip the average car of personal property in under 30 seconds. In addition to personal electronics, including phones, such burglaries have also netted the thieves weapons that have been carelessly left in unlocked vehicles. In several instances, the guns have been later used in the commission of a more serious crime, including armed robberies and shootings. We remind all residents to remember these three simple steps when exiting your vehicle, whether at home, work or while running errands: TAKE...your property inside HIDE...your property when taking it inside is impractical LOCK...your vehicle doors at all times. Thanks, folks!
WE BID OUR POLICEBOY 'FAREWELL' The Crestview Police Department said a fond “farewell” to one of its biggest supporters last week when Jae Williams stopped by the Whitehurst Municipal Building to say goodbye to his officer friends. Jae, 8, has been a pal and frequent visitor to the Police Department since he was 5, when observing a backlash against many police officers around the country following a few isolated events, he told his mom, Cassie Williams, that he wanted to find a way to support local first responders. With the aid of his mom, Jae soon started visiting the Crestview Police and Fire Departments, and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, bringing handmade cards, treats and little presents. Soon he’d appear in his “official" uniform, complete with badge and shoulder patches. Most recently, as the Police Department prepared to take relief supplies to law enforcement agencies affected by Hurricane Michael, Jae made a final appearance. With his father’s work being relocated, the family is moving out of state. “Keep being a great kid,” Deputy Chief Jamie Grant told Jae as he presented him with an official Crestview Police lapel pin and challenge coin. “We’re going to miss you, buddy.” Before Jae left, he had one more mission. At his suggestion, Cassie had stuffed the back of the family SUV full of cases of water, many of which Jae carried into the Police Department himself. “It’s to help the people hurt by the hurricane,” Jae explained as some of his officer friends helped him stack the cases of water in a hallway before loading them in a trailer. Then looking at his handiwork, he gave a broad grin and said, “Look! We made a tower! It’s bigger than me!” The Crestview Police Department wishes our pal, Jae Williams, much happiness in his new home. And we have no doubt that local first responders will soon be receiving a visit from our policeboy.
MEET OUR NEWEST K9 HANDLER Officer Javonnia "Jay" Peak is no stranger to either the Crestview Police Department or handling K9s. He was a military working dog handler for the Air Force before transitioning to law enforcement with our agency last year, where he promptly proved an asset as he shared his experience with our K9 units. He recently was formally appointed the partner of K9 Officer Sonic, with whom he had already been establishing a bond and relationship for several months. Bad guys watch out: Our second "fur missile" has a skilled and dedicated operator at the controls! Officers Peak and Sonic join our two other K9 units, Officers Nate Marlar and Kody, and Officers Joshua Ellrick and Hero. We have partnered with Walker Elementary School to raise funds for a fourth police dog so that every shift will be covered by a K9 unit.
TONYA, GIVE US A CALL Officer Wanda Hulion wants to speak with "Tonya," who had called her but left what turned out to be a wrong number. Please call Officer Hulion at 850.305.2905. Thank you!
BEST FOOT FORWARD We have certainly been blessed by the many people and businesses that have brought us donations to take to first responders (and their families) in the areas affected by Hurricane Michael. This morning another trailer load departed. Along with the citizen donations we have received is this load of two pallets' worth of work boots from First Tactical. We are grateful to their incredible donation, as we are with all the donations we've received. Having evaluated the situation at the communities we've visited, our current focus is on providing shoes, socks, underwear, and snacks for first responders. Thanks to government supplies, they now have plenty of water. Thank you to everyone who has been bringing us supplies!
9/11 MEMORIAL THIEF ARRESTED A Crestview woman was arrested Oct. 18 following her alleged theft of a police cap from a 9/11 memorial display at the Winn-Dixie supermarket. The incident was captured on security video. Thanks to an outpouring of information from the public and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Crestview Police Department identified the suspect as Michelle Nicole Silvers, 33. Many residents and law enforcement personnel had responded to an appeal for information that was posted Sept. 12 on the Police Department’s Facebook page and had been shared across regional media. Ms. Silvers had been arrested as recently as July 31 on charges of larceny: grand theft over $300, less than $1,000; and fraudulently obtaining property by impersonation. She now faces a misdemeanor larceny charge of petit theft by depriving a person of the right to their property. She was released on $1,000 bond on Oct. 19. After Ms. Silvers was identified, she refused to come to the door of her residence when a Crestview Police investigator visited the home Sept. 13, though another resident gave the stolen cap to the officer. Black ball caps with the word “police” embroidered on the front are Crestview police officers’ official uniform head gear. Officer Nicky Mojica, who had lent her personal uniform cap to the Winn-Dixie memorial display, said while she was grateful to have it returned, the incident wasn’t about a hat. “This is about disrespecting people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks,” she said. “It’s about disrespecting police and firefighters who bravely responded to the attacks and died while saving innocent citizens.”
DRUG TAKE-BACK, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., SATURDAY, 27 OCT. Time to clean out that medicine cabinet! The Crestview Police Department Community Services Division will hold a drug take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Crestview Walgreen's at the corner of State Road 85 and Redstone Avenue West. We will accept all prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements. This is a safe, secure way to dispose of your or a family member's unwanted, un-needed and expired drugs. Never dispose of drugs by flushing them down the toilet or tossing them in the trash. Just drop them off Saturday in the marked secure containers guarded by our uniformed police officers. Your medications will not be examined and you will remain completely anonymous.
We had a blast at last week's games night for special needs adults and teens! Many thanks to our pals at the Crestview Fire Department, who took to the field and kept things moving while we manned the food table. It was filled with great hotdogs and fixin's courtesy of the awesome folks at Sonic, to whom we give a big shoutout. Our guests who didn't want to play ball had a great time doing crafts and puzzles. Our games nights are always such a fun time. Thanks to all who help us make it possible.
HOW DOES CITY GOVERNMENT WORK? Find out at this evening's City Council meeting, 6 p.m. in Warriors Hall in the Whitehurst Municipal Building. This evening's meeting is a city government open house, with an abbreviated council meeting, including a vote on a resolution, mayoral proclamation, recognition of a 37-person delegation from Noirmoutier, France (Crestview's Sister City), and brief remarks by Noirmoutier Mayor Dr. Noël Faucher. Afterward, take advantage of the opportunity to meet your city's leaders, including Mayor David Cadle, Clerk Betsy Roy, City Council members, and department heads. Now's a great opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions, and meet people from our Sister City. Refreshments will be served.
Crestview Police officers load donations received at the Police Department from residents, then depart in a four-vehicle convoy to deliver the supplies to first responders and residents affected by Hurricane Michael.
'IT WAS DESTROYED' CRESTVIEW PD OFFICERS WITNESS HURRICANE DESTRUCTION WHILE DELIVERING DONATED SUPPLIES A team of Crestview Police officers delivering supplies to hurricane stricken areas had a sobering glimpse of the storm’s wrath, and counted their blessings that Hurricane Michael veered east. “It could’ve come here,” Commander Andrew Schneider, who drove a former ambulance stuffed to the ceiling with water, said. Thursday morning, Cmdr. Schneider and a team of volunteers loaded the ambulance, now a mobile crime scene lab, the police’s Emergency Response Team trailer, two SUVs, and the bed of a new Crestview Public Services truck with supplies recently donated. As the sun rose over Spanish Trail Park, a relay of five officers offloaded supplies from a too-small trailer that had originally been packed to the bigger trailer. More supplies were toted out from empty offices where they had been stored as an outpouring of community generosity flowed into the Whitehurst Municipal Building. “I’m sure getting my workout today,” off-duty Officer Patrick Stephenson said as he received another case of water from Officer Mellie Robertson, who in turn got it from Sgt. Lucas Kraus. Inside the smaller trailer, Officer Jonathon Sprague started the chain. At the gaping ramp, Officer Michael Hills passed supplies to Officer Zachary Schmidt, who helped other volunteers place the supplies in the cavernous trailer. The two are Crestview PD’s newest officers, having only been sworn in by Mayor David Cadle the day before. “I’ve really been looking forward to being part of an agency like this that is heavily involved in the community,” Officer Hills said. Around 8:30 a.m., the vehicles pulled out of Crestview. What they found at their destinations shocked even the most experienced officers. “It was destroyed,” Cmdr. Schneider said. “People there have nothing. They’re literally sitting in lawn chairs where their house used to be wondering what comes next.” As supplies were distributed, the officers learned what commodities the st form survivors most needed. “Personal items mostly,” Cmdr. Schneider said. “Socks, T-shirts, underwear. They have plenty of water. But they lost everything. They need things like hand wipes, baby wipes, hand sanitizer. Socks are a precious commodity.” Before the convoy had turned onto State Road 85 Thursday morning, generous members of the Crestview area community were again returning with more supplies. “We’re going to be heading over there next week,” Cmdr. Schneider said. “They need so much over there.” HOW YOU CAN HELP The Crestview Police Department welcomes donations for law enforcement officers and residents in the areas affected by Hurricane Michael. While water is now plentiful, officers say personal hygiene supplies and new clothes are desperately needed. The Police Department is accepting: • Toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, • Foot powder • Hand wipes, baby wipes • Soap, shampoo and hand sanitizer • New socks, underwear, T-shirts (no used clothing, please) • New towels, bedding, blankets (not used) • Snacks including candy, power bars, chips, etc. in individual servings • Pet food Donations may be brought to the Crestview Police Department at any time, night or day, Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd. (behind CEFCO). Please note that water and coolers are now in good supply.
K9 DIVISION RECEIVES DONATION One of the Crestview Police officers who will most benefit from the proceeds of a fundraiser at McAlister’s Deli was on hand to accept the check earlier this week, and get his ears rubbed in the process. K9 Officer Hero, a Dutch shepherd, happily rubbed up against restaurant manager Kat Gonzales, later jumping up on his hind legs and posing for a photo with his partner, Officer Josh Ellrick, and Brenda Cadenhead of the Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni organization as Ms. Gonzales presented the deli’s check. The “Meet the K9s Night” at McAlister’s raised nearly $700 in the form of a percentage of the evening sales and cash donations. The money will go toward K9 Division equipment — including a ballistics vest for Hero — that is not funded through city budget allocations. The Citizens Police Academy Alumni group accepts financial gifts benefiting the Police Department, which, as a public agency, is not permitted to accept money on its own. Future fundraisers for the K9 Division include a “dog wash,” in which K9 officers will wash people’s pets for them at Pawsitively Scrumptious. A date for the event will be announced soon.
Crestview Police Officers Michael Hills, Patrick Stephenson, Mellie Roberts and Jonathon Sprague, and Sgt. Lucas Kraus, load supplies for first responders in a areas east of Crestview affected by Hurricane Michael. The officers were volunteering their time to load and deliver the supplies on their day off.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS... When life gives you lemons, so the old saying goes, make lemonade. That’s exactly what Riley Martin did. Three days after Hurricane Michael swept through Bay County, the 3-year-old Crestview girl ran a lemonade stand outside her home. Donations she received at the stand went to the purchase of supplies for young hurricane survivors. “Riley wanted to help the kids impacted by Michael,” her mom, Taylor Martin, said. ”She did surprisingly well (at her lemonade stand). We then went and bought supplies, mostly picked by her.” Among Riley’s selections were Halloween snacks, crayons and coloring books. Plus there were blankets, juice boxes, several gallons of water, applesauce, toilet paper, paper towels, drink mixes, baby food, and bottles. Riley was impressed after Officers Wanda Hulion, Sam Kimmons and Gabe Dunlap visited her Weslyan Day Care School, bringing along Safetypup, the children’s safety mascot. Riley and her friends got their photos taken with Safetypup, and some of the children got to sit in Officer Dunlap’s patrol car. “She sorta has a police obsession since a few officers and Safetypup came to her school a week or so ago, so was eager to drop off donations at the police department and hopefully see a police officer,” Ms. Martin said. And she got her wish. Commander Ray Harp and Sgt. Josh Grace met Riley and helped her carry her gifts in from the family car. Hurricane Michael may have given lots of people lemons, but generous people like Riley have helped the Crestview Police Department make some lemonade, as her gifts and those of numerous other residents were loaded into a four-vehicle convoy Thursday morning and trucked to communities affected by the storm.
Eeeek! We've been "booed"! Many thanks to the kind anonymous phantom who dropped off this Halloween basket of goodies! We appreciate it!
Here's an opportunity for free family health information and check-ups at the FAMU Pharmacy School in the Alatex Building on Woodruff Avenue.
STILL ACCEPTING DONATIONS Just a reminder, friends, that the Crestview Police Department is still welcoming donations of ice chests/coolers, toiletries, water, socks, underwear, baby diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. You may bring your donations to the Police Department in the Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Boulevard. We will be taking these are other donations to our colleagues in blue and red at the Panama City Beach Police Department and other first responder agencies in the areas hit by Hurricane Michael. Thank you!
PHONE SCAMS CIRCULATING We have been advised — in fact, we get them ourselves — of two popular phone scams circulating in the area. The newest is a "chronic pain" scam in which the recording tells the person receiving the call that their miraculous service to end your pain accepts all insurance, Medicaid and Tricare. It usually begins, "This is not a solicitation call." The other is the old "lower your credit card interest rate" scam that has been around for several years. The recording says "Card Services" has been "monitoring your payment history" and due to your excellent payment record, can lower your rates. While it's tempting to have fun with these scammers and lead their foreign operators on, this only confirms that yours is a working phone number and can set you up for more such nuisance calls. Also be aware that almost all of these calls "spoof" a local 850 area code phone number. If you don't recognize the number, don't answer. If you answer and the recording starts, just hang up.
'COOLER' HEADS PREVAIL The Crestview Police Department is accepting donations of ice coolers which will be transported to police agencies and first responders in the communities between Panama City and Apalachicola that were affected and devastated by Hurricane Michael. “We tried to think of something they really need,” Critical Systems manager Kathy Duke, who is spearheading the police’s cooler donation drive, said. “With the power out, they have no refrigeration, so coolers will help keep donated ice longer.” In addition, the Police Department welcomes the donation of bottled water, sports drinks, toiletries, diapers and toilet paper. The donations will be loaded into a Crestview Police utility trailer and hauled to the affected communities toward the middle of the week, Deputy Police Chief Jamie Grant said. Donations may be brought to the Crestview Police Department in the Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd. at any time, night and day.
MARTIAL ARTS STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT CPD K9s' SUPER POWERS Like their studies at Gordon Martial Arts, students of the academy’s taekwondo, Hapkaido and Combat Jujitsu learned that being a Crestview Police K9 officer — both two- and four-legged — takes dedication, weekly training and constant practice. The Police Department’s public information officer, Brian Hughes, was the guest speaker at GMA’s Oct. 5 promotion ceremony, during which the students advanced to their next degree in their respective disciplines. But he wasn’t supposed to be speaking that evening, Mr. Hughes explained. “We were going to have one of our K9 units here,” he said from the Crestview Community Center stage. “But sometimes duty calls, so while Officers (Josh) Ellrick and Hero are out protecting our city, you have me instead,” adding apologetically, “I’m sorry that I’m just not as handsome as Hero.” Fortunately, as a dog lover, the K9 Division is something about which Mr. Hughes is passionate, and he happily shared some of the department’s three police dogs’ attributes that make them so interesting to just about anyone who encounters them — as long as they’re on the correct side of the law, that is. His descriptions of the animals’ olfactory prowess impressed audience members, including 9-year-old Carlos Montalbo. “What is the dog’s super power?” he asked the guest speaker. “It’s his sense of smell,” Mr. Hughes replied. Referring to the traditional post-ceremony meal, a stack of Little Caesar’s pizzas, he asked Carlos, “What do you smell when you go back to those tables with all the food?” “Pizza!” the boy replied. “Well, our dogs don’t just smell the pizza,” Mr. Hughes said. “Our dogs can smell each separate thing in the pizza. He can detect the pepperoni, the spices like oregano in the sauce, the tomatoes in the sauce, onions, and everything else. We just smell the sauce. He smells each part of the sauce.” “Wow!” said the obviously impressed boy. “I want to meet a K9. Can he come to my birthday party?” Carlos and the rest of the audience learned that the Police Department’s K9’s sense of smell and ability to detect illicit narcotics is faster and more accurate than the equipment used by the Transportation Security Administration at the nation’s airports. And they learned that the dogs can sniff out narcotics even in an “odor noisy” environment, such as when bad guys try to disguise the scent using dryer fabric sheets. In addition to be interesting for Gordon Martial Arts students and family members, Mr. Hughes’ brief remarks proved beneficial to the CPD’s three K9 units and the agency as a whole: A bucket passed around the audience after he spoke raised $300 toward acquisition of a fourth K9. PHOTO: Gordon Martial Arts Chief Master Tom Gordon presents Crestview Police K9 Officer Joshua Ellrick with a check for $300. The money was donated by family members and friends of GMA students who recently advanced to their next belt levels, and will help fund a fourth police dog for CPD.
LOST A DOG? This big, friendly fellow was found walking along Stillwell Boulevard shortly ago. He has a worn spot on his right forepaw elbow and is wearing a faded blue collar. He is very friendly. He is now keeping our communications officers company in the Dispatch Center. You may claim him at the Crestview Police Department, Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd.
WALTON COUNTY ROAD CLOSURES Our friends at the Walton County Sheriff's Office issued this report: Florida Highway Patrol has closed sections of I-10 for debris clean up. Eastbound lanes are closed from mile marker 85 in DeFuniak Springs - 160 past Sneads. Westbound lanes are closed from mile marker 123 just east of Chipley - 160 just east of Sneads. Power companies like Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Gulf Power Company are working diligently to restore power. However, Walton and surrounding counties are still experiencing power outages. If you see power lines down, or road blockage, in Walton County please report it to Walton County Sheriff's Office at (850)-892-8111. For motorists on the roadways, treat every intersection with a non-working traffic light as a four-way stop.
HURRICANE MICHAEL UPDATE Crestview's brush with Hurricane Michael is about over, with the eye of the storm almost out of the state and heading for Georgia and the Carolinas before being forecast to go out to see, eventually to nudge Ireland. Crestview first responders and public services report minimal ill effects to the city: • The Police Department responded around noon to a single vehicle wreck near the 54-mile marker on I-10. (See attached photo.) Initial reports said the driver appeared to be driving too fast for wet road conditions. Other accidents included a morning fender-bender and a crash at Industrial Drive and US Hwy. 90. Calls for service were minimal, the Dispatch Center reports. • The Fire Department also had minimal calls for service, mostly responding to a couple downed power lines and the I-10 crash. • Public Works reports a few lift stations had brief power losses but were back online in quick order. Some small tree limbs have been reported down. Flooding was reported on Antioch Road. There has been no damage to city buildings or parks. • The Police and Fire Departments and Public Works released employees who had been on 24 activation, with Chiefs Jamie Grant and Tony Holland, and Public Services Director Wayne Steele, praising their respective employees for their commitment to the community. We thank all citizens who have been so cooperative and patient, remaining home and off of our streets to allow patrols and repairs to be performed unhindered. We also greatly appreciate your prayers as your first responders have addressed Hurricane Michael. Thank you!
HURRICANE MICHAEL UPDATE We received a report earlier from our officer at the county Emergency Operations Center in Niceville: • Storm is currently a Category 4 Hurricane. • It made landfall at or near Panama City around 1200-1300 hrs. • Storm continues to intensify (pressure down to approx. 925mb as of most recent pass). • Hurricane Force Winds extend out 45mi from the eyewall (possibly west to Destin). • Tropical Storm Force Winds extend out to Pensacola, diminishing in our area by 1900-2000 hrs (7-8 p.m.). • Rainfall of 2”-4” localized to 5” expected. • Shoal River may reach minor flood stage by Thursday evening.