On May 14, 2014, the Leadership Polk Alumni Association presented the fourth annual Spirit of Leadership Polk Awards during the Leadership Polk Class VII Graduation Luncheon in Winter Haven. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was recognized with the "Spirit of Leadership Polk" award, presented each year to one individual and one organization in recognition of their county-wide leadership development efforts. This year’s recipients were Tracy Porter (individual) and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (organization).
“We are honored to have received this recognition from Leadership Polk,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “They do an outstanding job of bringing community leaders together to build and improve Polk County’s quality of life for its citizens.”
The award presentation mentioned a number of PCSO accomplishments including:
1) The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency in the United States to have received three “Accreditation of Excellence” awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. The PCSO has a total of eight professional accreditations.
2) The Sheriff’s Office is known for building unique successful community and public safety partnership programs such as the Polk State College Public Safety Training Academy (a partnership program with Polk State College & the PCSO); a Joint Emergency Communications Center combining law enforcement, fire and ambulance communications and dispatch services; and multiple partnership agreements with municipalities that allow the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and six Polk municipalities to enhance law enforcement services throughout Polk County.
3) The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has an active and innovative volunteer program that makes Polk County communities stronger and safer. The PCSO currently has over 3,300 volunteers serving a variety of functions throughout the agency such as Animal Control, Citizen’s Assisted Patrol (CAP), Electronic Information Gathering (EIG), Chaplaincy, and Special Operations. In calendar year 2013, volunteers contributed an estimated 136,966.50 hours of service.
4) The Polk County Sheriff’s Office internal leadership and educational development programs substantially enhance Polk County’s leadership pool. The agency supports members seeking higher education and professional certification. By doing so the agency provides enhanced, professional services while it effectively manages its workload. Currently 252 full-time members hold Associate’s degrees, 296 full-time members hold Bachelor’s degrees, 151 members hold Master’s degrees, and 6 hold Doctorate level degrees. The agency has also embraced the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program: an intense, 8-level professional certification course spread over 18 months and taught by Florida State University. 224 active full-time PCSO members are CPM certified.
For more information about the Polk County Sheriff’s Office go to www.polksheriff.org. For more information about Leadership Polk, go to www.polkvision.com.