The Polk County Sheriff’s Office training function is headquartered at the Burnham-McCall Training Center located at 2201 Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road, Bartow, FL 33830. The Center includes administrative offices, classrooms and training areas for the SWAT Team and Canine Unit, an obstacle course, a live-fire MATCH House, ranges for various weaponry training and a driving track.
A lieutenant is responsible for the daily administration of the Training Section and oversees all facilities and equipment. The Training Section has two (2) sergeants assigned: one (1) from the Department of Law Enforcement and one (1) from the Department of Detention. One sergeant is responsible for the daily administrative tasks, while the other sergeant serves as the agency’s Range Master. Both sergeants assist with the planning and implementation of training programs. The secretary assigned to the section provides administrative assistance for the lieutenant and sergeants while simultaneously providing direction and leadership to the clerical staff.
Additionally, there are six (6) agency members assigned as training coordinators, two (2) deputy sheriffs and two (2) detention deputies who are involved in coordinating the Detention Deputy Training Evaluation Program, Detective Training Evaluation Program, Sheriff’s Service Training Program, and Management Training Evaluation Program. Also, there are two (2) deputy sheriffs who are involved in coordinating the Street Training Evaluation Program. The coordinators, as subject matter experts, are involved with various subjects including high-liability training, which consists of firearms, defensive tactics, and emergency vehicle operation.
The coordinators are supported by clerical staff who schedule courses, process registrations, and make travel arrangements when necessary. The clerical staff also maintains records of all agency members’ completed training. An in-house schedule of courses, external training, as well as training announcements and bulletins; which are made available for viewing on the agency’s intranet by the Training Section’s clerical staff.
In addition to providing training for agency members, the agency makes the ranges and facilities available for use by law enforcement and corrections academies, as well as advanced and specialized training conducted by the Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, Polk State College. The facilities are also utilized by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Coast Guard, National Guard, and other military entities. Additionally, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Florida Highway Patrol, and other state law enforcement agencies, coupled with local municipalities, utilize the Training Center’s accommodations on a routine basis.
The Training Section also develops and maintains the agency’s online training program. The online training program allows agency members to complete required training at their assigned location and at a time that is more convenient to them. Additionally, the SRVOT (Solid Realistic Ongoing Verifiable Training) Program is coordinated through the Training Section and hosted on the agency’s intranet site. SROVT allows the agency’s members and supervisors to interact and learn through discussions using actual events to emphasize the agency’s policies and procedures, as well as the most recent court rulings.