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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency serving Polk County, Florida. Polk County is the fourth largest county in the state, with approximately 2,010 total square miles, and is the ninth most populated county with an estimated population of 715,000. Polk County encompasses 17 municipalities, the largest being Lakeland, and is located in Central Florida, with Tampa to the west and Orlando to the east.
The Sheriff is an independent Constitutional Officer and, as such, is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of providing law enforcement services within Polk County. The agency also provides related law enforcement services to the entire county, the delivery of court process, service of warrants, of seized firearms, service response, assistance to municipal agencies, animal control, crime prevention and educational programs, victim assistance services, and school crossing guards.
The Sheriff administers directed patrol and investigative responsibilities in a primary service area that includes the unincorporated regions of the county, as well as within six municipalities that have contracted with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to provide law enforcement services; these include: Frostproof, Polk City, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry. The primary service area of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office accounts for 65% of the county’s total population, separated into two divisions (East and West) with five districts.
PCSO administers dispatching services for every city fire and police department in the county, with the exception of the city of Lakeland, as well as Polk County Fire Rescue.
The Sheriff is delegated the responsibility, by the Board of County Commissioners, of administration and daily operation of the Central County Jail, South County Jail, Sheriff's Processing Center (booking), the transportation of inmates, and the housing of pre-adjudicated youth. The Sheriff is also statutorily charged with providing deputies to attend the Polk County Board of County Commissioners’ meetings. Additionally, the Sheriff maintains courthouse and courtroom security for all sessions of County and Circuit Courts within Polk County and the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is composed of three main departments: The Department of Law Enforcement, The Department of Detention, and the Office of Business Affairs.