Date: December 13, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Scott Wilder, (863) 534-6299 OR (941) 820-1198, Pager

Sheriff's Office Announces Senior Leadership Promotions

BARTOW.  Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. announced several senior leadership promotions today.  Two of the Sheriff's Office veteran law enforcement officers who are department heads will be retiring in January 2002, thus creating leadership openings through the rank of Sergeant.  The two retiring Sheriff's Office members are:  Commander of the Department of Detention, Colonel Kenneth (Ken) Barber, a 28 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, and Commander of the Department of Law Enforcement, Colonel Albert (Al) Lang, Jr., a 35 year veteran.  Promotions to fill the vacancies created by these retirements will occur at a ceremony to be held in Bartow at the Stuart Center on January 11, 2002. 

45-year-old Major Willie E. (Bill) Hall of Winter Haven will be promoted to the rank of Colonel and will serve as the Commander of the Department of Detention.  He is currently Commander of the Support Division within the Department of Detention and has been employed by this agency for 20 years.  His current responsibilities include jail booking at three locations, inmate classifications, food service, detention investigations, the inmate farm and work crews, inmate disciplinary and administrative hearings, inmate property, facility counselors and chaplains, special projects, inmate transportation, courtroom bailiffs, inmate holding cells, and inmate movement for the courts.  Major Hall began his career at the Sheriff's Office as a correctional Officer in 1981.  He was promoted to Corporal in 1983, to Sergeant in 1984, to Lieutenant in 1987, to Captain in 1988, and to his current rank of Major in 1996.  He has served in virtually all areas of the Department of Detention including security and support.  He served in the Unites States Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979 and was employed at the Bartow Community Correctional Center from 1980 to 1981.  Major Hall earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from St. Leo University, St. Leo, Florida in 2000.  He has received extensive professional-level training in a wide range of corrections and detention-related subject matter, including management related course work.  Major Hall is married and has three children.  He is Deacon of the Central Church of Christ, Winter Haven.

41-year-old Major Gary Hester of Haines City will be promoted to the rank of Colonel and serve as Commander of the Department of Law Enforcement.  He is currently Commander of the East Region Division, responsible for all law enforcement operations within the division including patrol, community policing and property crimes investigations.  The East Region comprises the eastern half of Polk County and includes Polk City, Lake Alfred, Auburndale, Inwood, Winter Haven, Eloise, Wahneta, Eagle Lake, and Alturas, Citrus Ridge, the Four Corners area, Loughman, Davenport, Haines City, Poinciana, Lake Hamilton, Dundee, Waverly, Lake Wales, Hillcrest Heights, Frostproof, and Indian Lake Estates.  Major Hester began his career with the Sheriff's Office as a Corrections Officer in 1979.  He became a Deputy Sheriff in 1980.  He was promoted to Sergeant in 1987, to Lieutenant in 1989, to Captain in 1993, and to Major in 1999.  He has served in virtually all aspects of the Department of Law Enforcement
including patrol, investigations, undercover special investigations, major crimes, and law enforcement administration.  Major Hester has an Associate of Arts (1995) and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology (1996) from St. Leo College, St. Leo, Florida.  He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officers Course (1997) and has earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa this year.  He has received extensive professional-level training in a wide range of law enforcement-related subject matter, including management related course work.  Major Hester is married and has two children.  He is a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Davenport, is active in the Haines City High School Athletic Association, and coaches Junior Varsity baseball at Haines City High School.  He is a member of the Haines City Chamber of Commerce and is the president elect of the Haines City Rotary Club.

56-year-old Captain Sammy L. Taylor of Lakeland will be promoted to the rank of Major. His current assignment is Captain in charge of the Operations Support Bureau, responsible for the agency's fleet management, warrants enforcement, Crime Information Center, Judicial Process, and supply operations.  Captain Taylor began his career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 1968 as a Deputy Sheriff.  He was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1972 and served in that capacity through 1977.  He left the Sheriff's Office and worked as a private investigator through 1985 when he returned to the Polk County Sheriff's Office as a Sergeant in charge of the Training Section.  Since 1985 he has managed various responsibilities from the rank of Sergeant to Major in patrol, including Commander of the Northwest District from 1997 to 2001, and Special Operations, including agriculture, aviation, marine, environmental enforcement, community services, school safety and school resource officers, and crime scene.  Captain Taylor earned an Associate of Science degree in Political Science from Polk Community College in 1974 and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo College, Saint Leo, Florida in 1976.  He is a 1975 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Quantico, Virginia.  He has received extensive professional and executive-level training in a wide range of law enforcement-related subject matter, including management related course work.  Captain Taylor served as a Fort Meade Police Officer from 1966 to 1968 prior to his service with the Sheriff's Office.  Captain Taylor is married and has three adult children and two grandchildren.  He is a member and Trustee of the Carpenters Home Church in Lakeland.  He is a member of the Lakeland Rotary Club and is active in the Florida and National Chapters of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy Associates.

40-year-old Captain Charles Stephen (Steve) Lester of Winter Haven will be promoted to the Rank of Major and serve as Commander of the Support Division in the Department of Detention.  He is Currently Commander of the South County Jail facility in Frostproof, Florida, responsible for the overall operation including the care, custody and control of the inmate population and management of security staff.  Captain Lester began his career with the Sheriff's Office in 1986 as a Detention Deputy.  He was promoted to Corporal in 1990, to Sergeant in 1991, to Lieutenant in 1995 and to Captain in 1999.  He has served as a Detention Deputy and manager in a number of areas of responsibility including:  security/housing in the Main Jail, Central County Jail, and South County Jail; inmate booking, records and classifications; administrative support and special projects, and the Juvenile Boot Camp.  Captain Lester holds and Associate of Science degree in Criminology (1982) and an Associate of Arts degree in Criminology (1983) from Polk Community College.  He earned Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Florida (1999). He has received extensive professional-level training in a wide range of corrections and detention-related subject matter, including management related course work.   He is married and has one child.  He is a member of Parkland Baptist Church in Winter Haven and has extensive ties to the Winter Haven community.

46-year-old Lieutenant Rebecca Kay Schreiber of Bartow will be promoted to the rank of Captain in the Department of Law Enforcement.  Lieutenant Schreiber is currently manages the Special Investigations Section, responsible for a wide variety of investigations including undercover drug and vice operations, specialized task forces investigating auto theft and criminal gangs, criminal intelligence, and analytical support for the agency's proactive policing initiative to include tracking of criminal cases, crime patterns and trends.  Lieutenant Schreiber's career with the Sheriff's Office began in 1977 when she was hired as a communications dispatcher.  She was a Crime Scene Technician from 1979 to 1981, became a Deputy Sheriff in 1981, was promoted to Sergeant in 1987, and to Lieutenant in 1993.  She has experience in a wide range of responsibilities to include:  patrol; K-9; and managing investigations, patrol operations, the Training Section, and the Executive Services Section, which includes planning and research, Accreditation, and Property/Evidence.  Lieutenant Schreiber earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology at Florida State University in 1977.  She has earned 12 credit hours towards a Masters in Public Administration degree at the University of South Florida.  She is a graduate of the University of South Florida Executive Fellows Program and the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program.  She has just been accepted to attend the prestigious Southern Police Institute 107th Administrative Officers Course.  She is currently participating in the Bartow Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bartow program.  She is a member and past President of the Crickett Club of Bartow, the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #46, the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranches Program and Audit Committee, and an active member and past president of the Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Association.  She is married to Sergeant Mike Schreiber of the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

36-year-old Lieutenant Kurt D. Lockwood of Lakeland will be promoted to the rank of Captain in the Department of Detention.  Lieutenant Lockwood's current assignment is Deputy Commander of the Polk County Juvenile Boot Camp.  He began his career with the Polk County Sheriff's Office in 1984 as a Detention Deputy / Corrections Officer.  He was promoted to the rank of Corporal in 1989, to Sergeant in 1991, and then to Lieutenant in 1996.  He has worked in a number of areas throughout the Sheriff's Office including:  booking, trusty and visitation supervision, transportation, housing security, the Juvenile Boot Camp, and as Supervisor of the Sheriff's Office Training Section.  He is a certified Firearms Instructor and is certified in a number of areas of technical and high liability law enforcement and detention training.  Lt. Lockwood has earned an Associates of Arts degree in Criminology from St. Leo University, St. Leo, Florida in 1999 and is seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree.  He is married and has one child.


Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr: 

This is a challenging and exciting time for our agency:  Two of our most respected and senior leaders, Colonel Al Lang and Colonel Ken Barber will be retiring in January-together they represent over 64 years of law enforcement experience.  They have well earned their retirement, but we are sad to see them go.  My responsibility is to make sure we continue their legacy and to build upon their success.  We have a unique opportunity to promote a group of well-qualified managers who will have a role in shaping and leading this agency for years to come.

I am proud of the great strides our agency has taken to become one of the most professional, progressive, and well-respected law enforcement agencies in the nation.  We will soon be achieving an unprecedented milestone for a Sheriff's Office in America-we will be earning a fifth public safety accreditation.  We will be the only “Five-Star” accredited law enforcement agency in the state, and one of only a very few in the nation.  The members who we are promoting today all share a commitment to excellence. These members are dedicated law enforcement professionals who care about their community and are committed to protecting and serving the public.

XXX

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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