MOBILE, ALA. — SW Panhandle Search and Rescue K-9/Emotional First Aid Team, Inc. was awarded the “FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award” at the FBI training center in Mobile, Ala. This team partners with the FBI and local law enforcement in searching for missing persons in Alabama and Florida. They also educate their communities with the “Watch, Whistle & Wait” child survival program; “Morgan’s Vision” an Alzheimer’s and assisted living facility program; and the “K-9 Guardians of the Heart” program, a canine therapy team that provides comfort, companionship and unconditional love to our citizens in need.

The search and rescue team serves as an auxiliary team for both the Santa Rosa County and the Walton County Sheriff’s Offices in the panhandle area of Florida and for the Daphne, Ala. Police Department. Their highly trained canines were instrumental in locating 3 US Coast Guardsmen, whose helicopter crashed in Mobil Bay in Alabama; they worked the Caylee Anthony case in Central Florida and were an integral part for the search for the four babies thrown from the Dauphin Island Bridge in Alabama. They have done a number of searches in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties as well.

Since 1990, the FBI has publicly recognized individuals and organizations who have exhibited exemplary leadership within the local community and whose leadership has assisted the FBI and local law enforcement personnel in making safer communities. Each year, the special agent in charge of each FBI field office has the opportunity, with input from FBI employees, to select an individual or organization that has made a significant difference in the lives of others.

For more information on this team go to or call Nancy Locke at 712-6862.