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Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office News Room, where the Public Information Officers (PIO's) post all of the information that they release to the news media. PIO's act as liaisons between news media organizations and the Sheriff's Office. The PIO's routinely release timely and accurate information and Crime Stoppers bulletins, and respond to routine and "breaking news" media inquiries. News releases and Crime Stoppers information can be found on this page.
PCSO's full-time Public Information Officers are Brian Bruchey, Carrie Horstman, and Alicia Manautou. The Public Information Officers can be reached by sending an e-mail collectively at PIOs@polksheriff.org.
The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we inform you about the line-of-duty death of Deputy Sheriff Christopher Broadhead, who was stricken with COVID-19 and has been in the hospital for several weeks. He succumbed to the illness earlier today, August 23, 2021.
Deputy Broadhead was 32 years old, and became a deputy sheriff working in patrol in November 2011. Throughout his career he was also a property crimes detective, robbery detective, and homicide detective. He was most recently assigned to the Southeast District, in the Lake Wales area of the county. He was a graduate of the University of Florida.
Chris was married to former Deputy Elisa (Ranze) Broadhead. Chris was a stepfather to Elisa’s three children and together he and Elisa have two daughters, ages one and two.
We are in the process of planning a Line of Duty funeral service with full law enforcement honors, and that information will be sent out as soon as possible.
Deputy Broadhead received many accolades throughout his 10-year career - he was awarded a Medal of Valor in 2013, several division and department commendations, a Sheriff's Commendation, and Meritorious Service Medal in 2017.
There will be a memorial service for PCSO Deputy Sheriff Christopher James Broadhead on Monday, August 30, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., at the Victory Church located at 1401 Griffin Road in Lakeland.
There will be no viewing or gravesite service. Law enforcement honors* will take place outside the church immediately following the church service.
Please advise the public of heavy traffic on Griffin Road, Kathleen Road, and/or U.S. Hwy 98 North before and after the service.
ONE POOL VIDEO CAMERA AND ONE POOL STILL CAMERA WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE BACK OF THE CHURCH DURING THE SERVICE.
THE FAMILY RESPECTFULLY REQUESTS THAT MASKS BE WORN DURING THE SERVICE.
Victory Church has offered to live-stream the service on their Facebook page, which we will also share live on the PCSO Facebook page. The PIOs will live-stream the law enforcement honors outside the church on the PCSO Facebook page.
All news media are welcome to video or take photos of the law enforcement honors which will take place right outside the church immediately after the service (estimated start time 11:00 a.m.). There will be a designated space in the parking lot of the church for your news trucks.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Central Florida Ronald McDonald House at https://www.rmhccf.org/.
Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation to the Broadhead family may do so through Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc.
Click here and click “Make a Donation” then select “Other” in the dropdown menu. Enter “Deputy Sheriff Christopher Broadhead” in the description line. Or send checks made out to “Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc.” with “Deputy Sheriff Christopher Broadhead” written in the memo line to:
Polk Sheriff’s Charities
c/o Polk County Sheriff’s Office
1891 Jim Keene Blvd.
Winter Haven, FL 33880
*Law enforcement honors outside the church include helicopter flyover, taps, bagpipe, 3-shot volley, etc.