September 2005


in this issue
  • A Note from Sheriff Judd
  • Watch Out for Kids Going to and from School
  • PCSO Members Dodge Balls for Charity
  • New Crime Prevention Vans Spread Messages Across Polk

    Watch Out for Kids Going to and from School
    Sheriff Grady Judd urges residents and motorists countywide to help keep children who are traveling to and from school as safe as possible. “Please be vigilant this school year when driving near school buses and through school crossings - watch for the ever-present stop signs,” reminds Sheriff Judd. “Children are our most precious resource, and only the community working together can ensure their safe arrival to and from school.”

    There are over 150 school crossings and 6,500 school bus stops in Polk County. Each school crossing is staffed with a Polk County Sheriff’s school crossing guard. Please be mindful of these citizens who put their own lives in danger to facilitate a safe walk for school children across busy roads. In addition to children in school crossings, be respectful of other drivers, and always practice safe driving wherever you are.


    PCSO Members Dodge Balls for Charity
    dodge ball

    As one of many fund-raising efforts that PCSO members participate in every year, several teams throughout the agency played in a dodge ball tournament recently to benefit the Sunshine Foundation's Dream Village.

    On August 13, 2005, five teams competed at the North Lakeland YMCA in a spirited tournament that eventually pitted the winners, a team of detectives, against the "Senior Staff" team - some of the highest ranking members of the agency. Not only was a good time had by all, over $3,600 was raised for the worthy cause.

    The Sunshine Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on making critically ill children's wishes come true. Their facility in Central Florida, the Dream Village, offers a fairy tale setting for children and their families to stay in when visiting Florida attractions.

    New Crime Prevention Vans Spread Messages Across Polk

    Last month, Sheriff Grady Judd unveiled three of five new crime prevention vans that are wrapped with vinyl graphics depicting different safety messages, including child safety; elder abuse; Crime Stoppers; traffic safety; and neighborhood safety. The vans are driven by Crime Prevention Specialists who travel the county conducting programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Stranger Danger, and Vial of Life.

    The van designs were purchased with funds provided by fines collected from individuals convicted of criminal offenses, other than a capital felony, who were required to pay a fine in addition to any punishment ordered by the court, per Florida State Statute 775. “These vans will be rolling all over the county, displaying prevention tips and safety messages, and criminals wrote the check,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

    For more information about the Crime Prevention Section and the programs they offer, call 863-534- 6677.


    A Note from Sheriff Judd
    Hi, I’m Sheriff Grady Judd. Let’s fight drug abuse together. Let me tell you about Red Ribbon Month. Red Ribbon Month is a national public awareness campaign celebrated in October. Its purpose is to raise awareness of substance abuse and encourage communities to unite and make a commitment toward the creation of a drug-free environment.

    The Red Ribbon is the universal symbol for alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse prevention in the United States. The goal of this important campaign is for entire communities to join together to participate in special Red Ribbon community events.

    Call the Drug Prevention Resource Center and lets get involved in one of the many events planned for next month. PSCO members will be out at each of these events, helping educate the public about living healthy and drug-free. For more information, visit the Drug Prevention Resource Center website at the Drug Prevention Resource Center website.

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    Join Us in Rewarding a Selfless Act! A donation fund has been created to help assist Canesha Blackman, the young single mother of five children who, while living in a Polk County shelter, returned a lost purse containing valuables and cash belonging to a Polk Sheriff’s Office detective. People from all over the state and nation have expressed interest in helping Ms. Blackman as she faces the challenges of living in a shelter with five children. In response to those who have expressed a desire to help, the Sheriff’s Office has created a donation fund in her name. Those wishing to make a donation to help Ms. Blackman may mail in contributions to 455 N. Broadway, Bartow, FL 33830; or hand-deliver their donation to any Sheriff’s Office district substation. Donation checks should be made payable to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, with a note on the memo line that the donation is intended for Canesha Blackman.