Boy Brightens Walton County Sherriff’s Office With 911 Thanksgiving Invitation
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
There are many Thanksgiving traditions that American families observe, from watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, to gobbling up a turkey feast and possibly passing out on the nearest couch from tryptophan. Another tradition is giving thanks where each person sitting at the table says what they are thankful for. While that is usually a family affair, one little boy named Billy wanted to give thanks to his local police department in Florida. And the only way the five year-old knew how to reach them was by calling ‘911’ – unbeknownst to his mother who was busy in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal. The 911 call Billy made on November 24 which reached the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) Communication Center that afternoon was not an emergency. Rather they received a very special invitation from Billy to join his family for Thanksgiving dinner. His mom Landi McCormick told Fox News that Billy’s grandfather noticed him talking to someone on an old cellphone. She reprimanded Billy for calling 911 which should be used only in emergencies. Billy was upset when deputies Dannon Byrd and Aaron Ethridge responding to the call drove up to their door. His tears quickly subsided when instead of the law scolding him for misusing 911, they gave him a Sheriff’s Badge and even let him sit in their patrol car. Walton County Sheriff, Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. took to Facebook with the heartwarming Thanksgiving overture. Lead Communications Officer Monica Webster said the call brightened their day, but not without a little admonishment. “With all the bad calls we take on a daily basis this one was a welcomed happy call that made all of us smile. While we do not encourage this use of 911… we are so honored at the invitation. Thank you Billy for making all of our days here at WCSO.” Many users were taken with the little boy’s actions as well, sharing the post over 1,000 times and giving it over 3,000 likes. One comment read, “Good morning Walton County. I heard about this story while driving to work in Michigan today. Please give that young man a high five for his concern and compassion for others, and the same to your deputies. It is moments like this that help build trust and respect in our communities. The two deputies who stopped should be commended for showing gratitude at the invite and making it a positive learning experience for the young man. All the best to all of you. Be safe, and thank you for your service.” Serving the community and keeping them safe is a lot to be thankful for.