David Morgan

National Hurricane Center

As Hurricane Michael churns through the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Rick Scott visited the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center on Monday, for a briefing on the storm. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports Pensacola is under a hurricane warning by the National Hurricane Center.

The Governor was in Pensacola late Monday afternoon, after briefings in Southport and New Port Richey on the 13th named storm of the 2018 season. His repeated message: do whatever it takes to stay safe.


One year after his election to the Escambia County Commission, Jeff Bergosh is preparing to take over the chairman’s seat. One of his first acts is aimed at the panel’s feud with county law enforcement.  

Bergosh will receive the gavel from outgoing Chairman Doug Underhill at Thursday’s Commission meeting. Almost immediately, Bergosh is expected to offer a proposal to resolve the funding issue with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

The search for 12-year-old Naomi Jones has now shifted into a homicide investigation, following the discovery of her body Monday afternoon in Eight-Mile Creek.

Naomi’s body was located in the water around 4 p.m. by two local fishermen scouting a place to fish in the creek near the intersection of Detroit Boulevard and Ashland Avenue. The location was approximately four miles from her home at Aspen Village Apartments on East Johnson Avenue and one mile outside the main search area, which was a radius of 3 miles.


Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is a step closer to a third term, winning the Republican primary Tuesday night. 

In unofficial returns. Morgan took 61 percent of the vote over three candidates, including former sheriff Ron McNesby, who Morgan beat in the 2008 GOP primary. But strategically, Morgan says his third campaign was actually easier than his first two.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

Crime in Escambia County dropped  16 percent overall during the first six months of 2016, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. But the decline was not unanimous.

The semi-annual report shows a 15 percent reduction in violent crimes like rape and aggravated assault, it also revealed a 16 percent drop in crimes involving property, such as burglary and larceny, compared to the first half of 2015.

Sheriffs’ offices in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are among the agencies teaming up to form the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program that serves the Gulf Coast.

HIDTA is a federally-funded operation that provides resources to link together local, state, and federal law enforcement to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking. Chris Canova, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, says there are only 28 such programs nationwide.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News


The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department took action last week to clear a number of arrest warrants off the books. The result: 39 people taken into custody. At a press conference Wednesday morning, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan announced the results of the three day initiative. "We were able to serve a total of 54 warrants and arrest 39 people. The charges ranged from cocaine trafficking, grand theft and multiple traffic offenses. This sweep did not concentrate on a certain area of Escambia County, but was done throughout our entire jurisdiction." 

Former Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino’s complaint against Sheriff David Morgan has been dismissed by the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Voting last month, the Commission said there was no probable cause to believe that Sheriff Morgan violated the state’s Code of Ethics.

“At the risk of sounding overconfident, we were confident from the first receipt of [the complaint] that this would be the outcome,” said Sheriff Morgan. “The complaint was frivolous and I think the finding confirmed that all the way down.”

Bob Barrett

There were rappers and dancers and dozens of community organizations on display Tuesday evening as Legion Field hosted an event for the 29th annual National Night Out. Officials were walking around the park, mingling with the crowd. Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the positive atmosphere at the park reminded him of simpler times. "We had these events in neighborhoods. It was Sunday in the park and people would get together and picnic. They were almost unplanned events." Morgan says now people live in neighborhoods for years and don't know who lives next door to them.

Escambia County Jail

An Okaloosa County couple working as paramedics are charged with sex offenses against a juvenile, along with a pair of Escambia County deputies, and are now in the Escambia County Jail pending a bond hearing.

Leah and Douglas Manning were extradited from Fremont County, Colorado and brought back to Pensacola Saturday. They were arrested Thursday afternoon at a campground near Florence, Colorado, south of Denver,  after two weeks at-large.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is the main target of a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics, by former County Commissioner Gene Valentino. 

Valentino declined WUWF’s request to be interviewed, saying he prefers to wait until the Commission on Ethics takes up the case, which he believes will be next month or in February.

Filed in October, the complaint names Morgan in connection with three allegations.

“Bridging the Gap” is the theme of a two-day crime prevention summit that got underway Wednesday at downtown Pensacola's Crown Plaza Hotel.

Delorean Wiggins, a deputy with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, is the chief organizer of the summit, which features crime prevention experts, community leaders and policy makers seeking ways to reduce crime.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Shaquille Purifoy, a 20 year old graduate of Pine Forest High School who went on to play football for Grambling State University was shot Friday night in Pensacola.

He died Saturday at Sacred Heart Hospital. In reaction to the shooting, church and community leaders held a Stop The Violence meeting Monday morning at St. John Divine Missionary Baptist Church in Pensacola.

"I don't want retaliation. I don't want revenge. I want cease fire!" said Robert Gross, Shaquille Purifoy's father, as he addressed the crowd of about three dozen at Monday morning's gathering.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

What started out as a parade turned into a party in Downtown Pensacola as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day parade made its way down Palafox Street from Martin Luther King Plaza south towards the bay. 

Province of British Columbia

  A five-year federal investigation of the Escambia County Jail was released in May, painting a bleak picture of the facility.

Exactly who would run the jail on September 1st – the original deadline -- was front and center at a Commission agenda review meeting in June. The main sticking point was a letter from Commissioner Grover Robinson to Sheriff David Morgan. Robinson said if running the jail was beyond Morgan’s capacity, he – Robinson – would be glad to relieve him of that duty.

Dozens arrested in ECSO warrant sweep

Dec 3, 2013
Escambia County Sheriff's Office

An arrest warrant sweep dubbed “Operation Smoking Gun” netted 61 arrests last month, according to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

That and future such operations are aimed at whittling down the roughly 25,000 outstanding warrants the Escambia County Sheriff's Office deals with on any given day. But Morgan says that’s actually down from the 34,000 that he inherited when he took office in 2009.