The Destin City Council held its regular meeting Monday, where Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jason Fulghum provided an update on recent traffic enforcement within city limits.
- Fulghum told the council that through the department’s participation in a state grant-funded speed enforcement program over the past month, deputies made 278 traffic stops within Destin.
- About 36% resulted in citations.
The sheriff’s office obtained the overtime traffic enforcement grant late last year to combat Destin’s ranking in the top 25% of cities statewide for per-capita speeding. The grant allows targeted enforcement along the city’s problem areas without any additional costs to the city or Okaloosa County.
“That’s why we went out and got a grant so that we could pay overtime to guys to sit down there and do it because that’s the fiscally responsible way to approach it,” Fulghum told the council in December about the decision to apply for extra funding. “It’s not costing the city a dime. It’s not costing the county a dime. The federal government, through the state, is paying for that enforcement.”
Fulghum said the sheriff’s office must submit paperwork by the end of February to seek approval for renewing the grant in 2025. That application requires a support letter from the Destin council.
- He sent the Destin city manager the previous year’s letter Monday but noticed one tweak needed to align with the grant’s specified purpose of combating speeding and aggressive driving. The current letter only cites aggressive driving.
Councilman Jim Bagby motioned to authorize Destin Mayor Bobby Wagner to sign an updated letter without further review so Fulghum can meet the approaching application deadline.
“I’ll forward that letter to the Mayor tomorrow,” Fulghum told the council after the unanimous approval.
The Sheriff’s Office data shows around 69% of all traffic enforcement in District 3, which covers Destin, takes place within city limits or in unincorporated parts of the area. Deputies also monitor drivers headed to and from Okaloosa Island, which sees heavy beach traffic in the summer months.