The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Civil Air Patrol Eglin Composite Squadron FLWG 423. The MOU allows the OCSO to request to use the volunteer civilian unit to assist with specific items such as aerial search and rescue missions, relief and disaster assistance, or damage assessment from environmental disasters. Under CAP regulations, members help is limited to “passive assistance”. “CAP members may not be deputized nor take an active part in arrest or detention activities and have no authority to restrict persons by means of force, active or implied.”

“CAP members are private citizens who have the skills and desire to serve the public. They could be a critical asset in helping us search for a missing individual, survey hurricane damage, or do a traffic assessment in a situation such as took place with the recent Brooks Bridge shutdown. We are grateful to the local CAP leadership, Air Force, and CAP members for joining us in this partnership that has the potential to benefit our citizens in numerous ways, “said Sheriff Larry Ashley.

The Civil Air Patrol, an official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a non-profit organization with 61,000 members nationwide and is credited with saving an average of eighty lives annually with search and rescue missions.