The Cyber Star a PCSO e-newsletter
June 2005


in this issue
  • Sheriff Judd Presents Awards to "Members of the Year"
  • PCSO Members Make Education a Priority
  • PCSO Seeking School Crossing Guards
  • A Note From Sheriff Judd

    PCSO Members Make Education a Priority
    education chart

    As Sheriff Judd likes to tell his troops: Getting an education won't make you a good cop -- but getting an education will make a good cop, a better cop. Leading the way for an educated, professional agency, staff members at PCSO encourage all agency members to pursue a higher education, even reimbursing tuition costs and giving monetary incentives.

    Currently, PCSO employs 1484 full-time employees. There are 532 sworn positions (deputy sheriffs), 427 certified positions (detention deputies), and 525 civilian positions. Of the members who have earned and/or are working on college degrees: 233 members currently have Associate degrees; 273 hold Bachelor's degrees; and 33 have graduate degrees (31 Masters and 2 Doctorates). As you can see in the chart here, the highest percentage of members with college are sworn deputy sheriffs.


    PCSO Seeking School Crossing Guards

    The Polk County Sheriff's Office School Crossing Section is in need of school crossing guards to work in areas throughout the county during the upcoming 2005-2006 school year. Specific areas of need are: North Lakeland, Auburndale, and Winter Haven.

    Currently the School Crossing Section includes over 200 permanent  part-time and substitute crossing guards. The program was developed in the early 1970s, and there are more than 150 crossings throughout Polk County. School crossing guards receive four hours of state-structured classroom instruction, with an additional two hours of on-the- job training in accordance with state law. School crossing guards receive an additional annual two-hour re-certification course prior to each new school year.

    The focus of the school crossing guard is to encourage students to cross at proper intersections. Guards also provide information regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety. If you have any questions regarding the School Crossing Section, or if you are interested in becoming a school crossing guard, contact the School Crossing Guard supervisor during normal business hours at (863) 297-1112.


    A Note From Sheriff Judd

    The 2005 Hurricane Season began June 1st, which means that it is past time to prepare yourselves and your homes. We all remember the devastation that occurred after three hurricanes hit Polk County within a 6-week time frame last year. The better prepared we all are in advance to deal with a major storm, the quicker the recovery will be.

    Here are some tips from the National Hurricane Center: Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind; Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. (In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community); Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet; Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact; Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate; Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911; Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance; Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit; Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

    Please take the time to study the list above and prepare yourselves and your homes for the hurricane season. Remember - it is always better to be safe than sorry.

    Rest assured that no matter what happens here in the county, the Polk County Sheriff's Office will always go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure its citizens are well-informed and safe. And we are always seeking to improve our partnerships with other county departments and neighborhood groups for just those reasons. Thank you, and may you and your loved ones remain safe this hurricane season.

    Sheriff Judd Presents Awards to "Members of the Year"
    The Polk County Sheriff's Office 2005 Annual Awards Ceremony, "Heroes - Service Above Self," was held June 2, 2005, at Nora Mayo Hall in Winter Haven. Florida House Member Joe Negron, District 82, served as the featured guest speaker for the awards and recognition ceremony. He gave a thoughtful tribute to those in law enforcement for their selfess acts of protection and service to the community. The award ceremony is held each year to recognize deserving PCSO members for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

    Among other significant recognitions, the agency's top three members were named: Deputy Sheriff of the Year - Detective Kristopher Gilbert - for his successful investigation into one of the largest marijuana smuggling organizations in Florida.; Detention Deputy of the Year - Gregory Fraley - in recognition of his outstanding service in the deployment of the mobile food kitchen during the 2004 hurricane season; and Civilian of the Year - Crime Scene Technician Anndee Kendrick - in recognition of her willingness to pitch in whenever needed, and for her high quality work performance.

    The following were nominated and presented Honorable Mention for Member of the Year: Civilians Pamela Cullins and Karen Evans, Detention Deputies David Andress and Daniel Jones, Deputy Sheriff Steven Hearth, and Sgt. Shawn Stephenson.

    For a comprehensive list of all award recipients, including the Purple Heart Medal, Medal of Valor, Marshall Anderson Award, and Meritorious Service Medals, click here.

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