According to a release from Mike Adkinson, who will assume the office of sheriff of Walton County in January, a transition team has been chosen to assist him when he takes office. The team represents a cross-section of law enforcement, criminal justice, and administrative professionals. The group began meeting Monday, November 17, and will review such things as the budget, organizational structure, asset inventory, information technology, and operations. Members of the transition team are William Chapman, Graham Fountain, Tom Ring, Jeff Skipper, Keith Westphall and Tammy Godwin.
According to the release, Chapman is a 29-year veteran of law enforcement. He has worked with Florida Highway Patrol, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the DeFuniak Springs Police. His positions have included homicide investigation, patrol lieutenant, and chief deputy. Chapman will serve as transition chair for the team.
Graham Fountain is veteran law enforcement officer who has held various executive level positions including Colonel with the Commercial Vehicle Law Enforcement for the Florida Department of Transportation, undersheriff of Okaloosa County, Florida. Fountain has also worked with the Department of Banking and Finance; Office of the State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner/Fire Marshal’s, and Division of Insurance Fraud. Fountain will serve as the transition co-chair for the team.
Tom Ring has 30 years of law enforcement experience in Florida. His background includes positions with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as inspector, special agent supervisor, and special agent in charge of the FDLE’s Northwest Florida Region. His experience includes investigating homicides, major drug cases, economic crimes, and internal investigations as well as tactical operations team leader.
Jeff Skipper has worked 25 years in law enforcement and corrections. He has recently retired from Walton Correctional Institution as an administrative lieutenant. Skipper is a 15-year adjunct instructor for Northwest Florida State College, teaching Basic Recruits for Law Enforcement and Corrections, with an extensive knowledge in FDLE standards and trainings.
Keith Westphall is a 26-year veteran of law enforcement who has recently held command positions with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Office of Motor Carrier Compliance. Westphall has received numerous distinguished service awards and has served on many boards, committees and task forces all over the state of Florida.
Tammy Godwin will be the executive assistant to the Sheriff and will be assisting the team with administrative duties during the transition.
“I am excited about getting to work for the people for Walton County,” said Sheriff-elect Adkinson. “I am also extremely grateful that Sheriff Johnson has demonstrated a spirit of cooperation to ensure a smooth transition by allowing the transition team presence,” said Adkinson.
Adkinson will be sworn in as Walton County Sheriff during the first week of January 2009. “The transition process will give us a much-needed advanced evaluation of the current operations, provide for communication with staff, and identify immediate needs that will define our strategic priorities,” Adkinson concluded.