New public safety complex to be named for long-time sheriffs Thornton and Chapman

Chris Bridges - the walton tribune

From Left: Sheriff Joe Chapman (photo credit: Walton County Sheriff’s Office) Sheriff Franklin Thornton (Photo credit: The Monroe Museum)

The new public safety complex in Walton County will be named in honor of two long-term sheriffs.

The Walton County Board of Commissioners approved the naming during its November 2023 meeting to be the Joe Chapman-Franklin Thornton Public Safety Complex. Commissioner Mark Banks made the motion for the naming in their honor.

Thornton was sheriff from Jan. 1, 1969 until his death in February, 1996. After Lamar Palmer and Al Yarbrough served, Chapman was elected in 2004 and has held the position since. He will retire after his current term is complete at the end of this year.

“I knew Franklin,” Chairman David Thompson said. “He was a great sheriff. I also admire our present sheriff.”

Banks noted it was a long time to have only four sheriffs from 1969 until the present.

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