Fla. EMS captain placed on unpaid leave after arrest in sex offender sting
Eddie Kemp, a captain with Bay County EMS, was one of 38 people arrested as part of "Operation Watchdog"
By Laura French
BAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida EMS captain has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after being arrested in a sting targeting sexual predators earlier this month.
Eddie Kemp, 57, a captain with Bay County EMS, is accused of traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity, according to The News Herald. Kemp was arrested as part of "Operation Watchdog," a sting conducted by the Bay County Sheriff's Office from Feb. 1-5.
Following his arrest, Kemp was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave, and will remain on leave pending the results of the case, officials said. Kemp has worked at Bay County EMS for more than 35 years and was a high school baseball umpire and high school football referee, according to a previous Facebook post by Bay County Emergency Services.
Kemp was among 38 people arrested as part of Operation Watchdog. The investigation was conducted mostly through the monitoring of online chats and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. Others arrested included convicted sex offenders who allegedly failed to register their social media accounts with authorities, those accused of possession of child pornography, and others suspected of traveling to meet a minor for sexual activity.
The investigation was assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Panama City Police Department, the Lynn Haven Police Department, the Panama City Beach Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
"During these times of COVID-19, children are spending more time than ever online," said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford in a statement. "It is vitally important we remain increasingly vigilant and monitor the online activities of those that stalk our children online."