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News and Investigations

News & Investigations

News Releases and Public Information

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

The recent news releases sent out by the PIOs can be found here, and archived releases (older than 2017) can be found here.

Aug 23, 2022

Lakeland sales clerk arrested for selling alcohol to 16-year old

Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a Lakeland store clerk for selling alcohol to a minor on Monday, August 22, 2022, as part of its ongoing Operation Pop Top campaign.

53-year old Celina Alamo was charged with Sale of Alcohol to a Person Under 21, a misdemeanor, after a 16-year old girl purchased an alcoholic beverage from her. The girl is a PCSO Explorer who was participating in the special operation.

The Explorers program is for high school students who are interested in a career in law enforcement. Deputies coordinate visits to various Polk County stores to ensure that they are compliant with state alcohol sales laws.

"Deputies visited eight stores on Monday, and seven of them refused to sell alcohol to our Explorer. Stores and their employees have a responsibility to do their part in keeping alcohol out of the hands of those who are under 21." - Grady Judd, Sheriff

The stores checked during this round of stops were in the Lakeland and Bartow areas.