Okaloosa County deputy recalls 9/11 as an NYPD officer

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OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer John Wohlfarth watched the news as the second plane crashed into the south tower on 9/11. It was a scheduled off day for him.

In 2001, Wohlfarth was an officer for the New York Police Department in Brooklyn. When he watched the plane crash, he knew something wasn’t right.

“Right then and there,” he said, “we knew this wasn’t an accident.”

Wohlfarth recalled to News 5 what that day was like.

Wohlfarth was called into work and it was “all hands on deck,” he said. There were no direct orders from leadership at first, he said, other than to be out and alert for the community.

Wohlfarth said the day after 9/11, he was told he would start a rotating 12-hour shift. He worked six to seven straight weeks with no off days.

He said he remembers the togetherness of 9/11 and the days that would follow more than the horror of seeing the plane crash into the tower.

“The city and the community was one for once and for a while,” he said. “Obviously it’s probably not that way any longer but it was definitely a different feel in the entire community.”

Wohlfarth said each 9/11, he remembers those lost and he hopes the nation will continue to honor them.

“Obviously you get emotional over it. I appreciate that over time, it’s gaining the respect and remembrance that it has,” he said. “It seemed like for the first few years, it was fresh in everybody’s memory and then it started to kind of fade. I think the nation is starting to realize that it was a significant event again.”

He added: “It’s obviously a significant event in our nation’s history that needs to be remembered.”

Wohlfarth now works for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office as a school resource officer at Edwins Elementary School.

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