Kody Bidwell joins SAO as investigator

Kody Bidwell has served in law enforcement here and as a teacher in his hometown of Wewahitchka, where his family’s history is intertwined with Gulf County’s educational system.

But it was one place he did not serve, and his drive to give back to the community in the best way possible, that led to Bidwell becoming the newest investigator at the 14th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office.

State Attorney Larry Basford, right, welcomed the office’s newest investigator, Kody Bidwell, on his first day of work Monday.

“I had a conversation with my wife about my long-term career goals between education and law enforcement,” Bidwell said. “My only regret was not serving in the military. So in that conversation, that was the driving force for me. This was the form in which I was going to serve.”

Bidwell started his law enforcement career with the Panama City Police Department as a patrolman in 2018 and was part of the Criminal Investigations Division before leaving in 2021. Career discussions continued with his wife, they have 3 children, and in January he was asked to take a position at Gulf County Schools for the remainder of the school year.

“I decided it was a great opportunity to try it, to see if I enjoyed it as much as I did law enforcement,” Bidwell said. “It was a great time, the kids were great, it was my alma mater.”

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With a decision to be made on his future career path, and having had a chance to try both, Bidwell said the major factor came down to how to best serve others.

The school year ended in May, Bidwell’s first day as a State Attorney’s Office investigator was Monday, June 13.

Bidwell completed his Basic Law Enforcement Standards at Gulf Coast State College and his Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement Intelligence at FSU-Panama City.

At his Gulf Coast graduation, Bidwell received the Kevin Kight Memorial Scholarship, the Abbot Academic Excellence Award, the Top Gun Award, and a perfect attendance award.

“If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it 100 percent,” he said. “We didn’t have much growing up, so I was raised that you have to work hard for it.”

For additional information contact Mike Cazalas at mike.cazalas@sa14.fl.gov.