Skip navigation links
Sheriff Grady Judd
News Room
Inside PCSO
Fugitives & Offenders
Animal Control
Citizen Info
Crime Prevention
Contact Us
Stop Graffiti
Skip navigation links
Sheriff Grady Judd
News Room
Inside PCSO
Office of the Sheriff
Law Enforcement
Office of Business Affairs
Community Partnerships
Sheriffs of Polk County
Our Fallen Heroes
Law Enforcement Memorial
Fugitives & Offenders
Contact Us
Citizen Information
Stop Graffiti

 Sheriffs of Polk County

Past and Present

W. H. Durrance (1861)
William Hutto Durrance was born in Tanall County, Georgia in August 1815. The Durrance family settled in what was then the eastern part of Hillsborough County and is now the Homeland area. According to state records, Polk County was established on February 8, 1861.a The first Polk County elections were held on February 13, 1861 and Durrance became the first elected Sheriff of Polk County. 10th Judicial Circuit Judge Julian Dale Durrance is the great-great nephew of Sheriff Durrance.

E. T. Kendrick (1861-62)

S.T. Watkins (1862-63)

C.W. Deeson (1863-65)

Robert Wilkinson (1866-67)

Archibald Hendry (1868-72)

Felix J. Seward (1872-73)

E.E. Mizell (1874)

J.L. McKinney (1875-76)

R.H. Peeples (1877-81)

C.G. Gresham (1881-83)

W.M. "Bill" Bowen (1883-84)
Although not much is known about Sheriffs Bowen's life, we do know that he was from the Ft. Meade area and currently has a great-great-grandson, Dustin Kendrick, working at the Sheriff's Office as a detective.


R.P. Kilpatrick (1885-87)

H.D. Ballard (1888-97)


J.D. Tillis (1897-1905)
Sheriff Tillis was born in Columbia County in August 1849 to Willibe and Celia Tillis. Sheriff Tillis and his family moved to Ft. Meade in 1855. Sheriff Tillis also served as Tax Collector from 1890-1894. After leaving office, Sheriff Tillis devoted his time to his family and ran a small hotel, known as the Tillis House, and worked his groves in Alturas.

J.R. Wiggins (1905-09)

John Logan (1909-25)
John Logan was born on August 31, 1872 in Davis Creek, AL. In 1892, Sheriff Logan left Alabama and worked on a ranch out west, then in 1900 was appointed Census Enumerator for the Sixth District of AL., holding this office for one year.

In 1903 Sheriff Logan married and moved to Lakeland where he worked as a carpenter. In 1905 he was made Chief of Police in Lakeland, and served in that capacity for three years. Sheriff Logan very rarely carried a weapon of any kind, but it is a matter of record that when he pursued a criminal he got him with a minimal display of authority. Sheriff Logan held office - 16 years - longer than any other sheriff in the history of Polk County.


James M. Langford (1919)
Although there are no officials records, Langford descendants advised that Sheriff Logan took a brief leave of absence in 1919 for health reasons and that James Langford was appointed as interim Sheriff.

A.H. Wilder (1925-29)
Sheriff Wilder was a native Polk Countian born in June of 1873. He worked as a deputy sheriff under interim Sheriff Langford. Prior to working in law enforcement, he worked in harvesting strawberries, managed a livery and also sold life insurance.


J.A. Johnson (1929-33)

 W. W. Chase (1933-41)

DeWitt Sinclair (1941-49)
DeWitt Sinclair was born in Moultrie, Georgia in 1898, attended Georgia Military College and Washing & Lee University. Sheriff Sinclair began his law enforcement career as a Desk Sergeant at the Winter Haven Police Department in June 1928.

He was made Chief of Police shortly after he joined the police department and served in that capacity until elected sheriff in 1941. After his tenure as sheriff, he worked in the Florida State Prison system for twenty (20) years.



F. M. Williams (1949-50)
F. M. Williams, Sr. was born in Monticello, GA, May 18, 1892 and became a resident of Lakeland, FL in approximately 1908. He began his law enforcement career as one of the first "motorcops" on the Lakeland Police Department in late 1919-early 1920. F.M. was appointed as the Lakeland Police Chief in April, 1921. He later served as a Deputy Sheriff of Polk County, FL from 1925 -1928. He then served as Constable for two terms, from 1931 - 1940.  F. M. served in the Navy for three years during WWII. After returning, he served in the U.S. Marshal's Office located in Tampa, for a year.  F.M. was elected Sheriff of Polk County in 1948 and took office in January, 1949.

A. Hagan Parrish (1950-53, 1956-61)
Albert Hagan Parrish was born in Fitzgerald, GA in September 1914. He received his primary and secondary education in Georgia and Florida, graduating from Orange Memorial High School in Orlando, FL. 
He began his law enforcement career with the Orange County Sheriff's Office from 1932 to 1934, when he accepted a job with the Orlando Police Department. During his employment with the Orlando Police Department he worked as an undercover officer for the FBI in the Ma Barker case. In 1936, he was one of only 26 men hired for the original Highway Patrol. Parrish began his career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 1941, was elected Sheriff in 1953, and worked there until 1961, leaving only for a tour of duty during World War II.



H. P. "Pat" Gordon (1956)
Sheriff Gordon was removed from office in August 1956, by Governor Collins after being convicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit perjury and two counts of subornation to perjury for his part in a $10,000 payoff-perjury scandal which also brought conviction to Senator H.E. King and two deputies.

Joel C. Garrard (1956)
Joel Garrard, a native Polk Countian, was born in Bartow, Florida in 1908. Garrard was appointed as Sheriff in 1956 to fill the unexpired term of Sheriff Pat Gordon who was indicted by the Grand Jury and sent to prison. Garrard died shortly after his appointment.


A. Hagan Parrish (1956-61) -  (See biography above)


Monroe Brannen (1961-1976)

Monroe Brannen began his law enforcement career with the Lakeland Police Department in 1939 and served in that capacity until 1952 when he resigned to seek political office.  Brannen was elected as Constable for District #5 in Polk County in 1952, and served until 1961. Brannen was elected Sheriff in 1961 and served four consecutive terms.

Quillian S. Yancey (1976)
Quillian Yancey was appointed interim Sheriff from August 26, 1976 until November 1, 1976, after Sheriff Monroe Brannen was removed from office following a Grand Jury indictment.


Louie T. Mims (1976-85)

Louie T. Mims, a native Floridian, was born in Wellborn in August 1940. Mims served three years in the U.S. Army Air Defense followed by 13 1/2 years in the Florida Highway Patrol. Mims was elected Sheriff in 1976 and served in that capacity for eight years.

H.E. "Dan" Daniels (1985-87)

Prior to his election to the Office of Sheriff, Dan Daniels was a retired Colonel from the U.S. Army Military Police.  Sheriff Daniels' controversial two-year tenure in office ended with his resignation after a Grand Jury presentment.



Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. (1987-2004)
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr., was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia in 1942. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1960-62 at which time he began his career with the Lakeland Police Department. 
He worked his way up through the ranks and was appointed Chief of Police in 1980 and served in that capacity until his appointment as Sheriff in 1987 to fill the unexpired term of Dan Daniels. Sheriff Crow has been recognized as being a fighter for his employees and believes that honesty and integrity is the backbone of a law enforcement agency.

Grady Judd (2005 -

Grady Judd began his career at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in 1972. After transferring to the Patrol Division in 1974, he quickly progressed through the ranks – holding every rank from Sergeant to Colonel. On August 31, 2004, Polk County overwhelmingly elected Grady to serve as their next Sheriff by a 64% majority vote against two opponents. He officially took office as the 37th Sheriff of Polk County on January 4, 2005.