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Biography of: Steve Lester 

Office of the Sheriff, Chief of Staff 
 

Education:

  • 1982 – Polk Community College, Winter Haven, Florida Associate of Science Degree in Criminology
  • 1983 – Polk Community College, Winter Haven, Florida Associate of Arts Degree in Criminology
  • 1999 – University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology
  • 2006 – Troy University, Troy, Alabama Master’s Degree in Public Administration

Professional Experience:

  • 1986 – Employed by Polk County Sheriff’s Office as a detention deputy 
  • 1990 – Promoted to Corporal
  • 1991 – Promoted to Sergeant
  • 1995 – Promoted to Lieutenant
  • 1999 – Promoted to Captain
  • 2002 – Promoted to Major, Commander, Support Division
  • 2006 – Promoted to Chief, Commander, Department of Detention
  • 2010 – Promoted to Chief of Staff, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Professional Certifications, Memberships & Affiliations: 

  • 2002 - Present:    American Jail Association Member
  • 2004 - Present:    Certified Jail Manager, Jail Manager Certification Commission 
  • 2006 - Present:    Certified Public Manager, Florida State University
  • 2006 - Present:    Public Safety Coordinating Council Member
  • 2006 - Present:    Anti-Drug Abuse Council Member
  • 2006 - Present:    Polk Community College Training Advisory Committee
  • 2006 - Present:    Polk County Police Chiefs’ Association Member 
  • 2007 - Present:    American Correctional Association
  • 2008 - Graduate:  Executive Excellence Program, National Institute of Corrections
  • 2009 - Present:    United States Deputy Sheriff's Association
  • 2009 - Graduate:  Leadership Polk- Polk Vision Class II
  • 2009 - Graduate:  Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) from PERF
  • 2010 - Graduate:  FBI National Academy Session #240, Quantico, Virginia
  • 2010 - Present:    FBI National Academy Association
  • 2011 - Present:    International Association of Chiefs' of Police


Community/Civic Affiliations: 

  • 1968 – Present:  Parkland Baptist Church
  • 2000 – Present:  University of Florida Alumni Member
  • 2002 – Present:  University of Florida Scholarship Club Booster
  • 2003 – Present:  Rotary Club of Winter Haven (Past Board of Directors)