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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.

Mar 7, 2023

PUBLIC NOTICE: School crossing guard to be removed in Auburndale

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

The school crossing guard located at U.S. Hwy 92 and Bennett Street in Auburndale will be removed due to no unaccompanied school children utilizing the crossing, which eliminates the need for the guard. The crossing located at Hwy 92 and Main Street will remain staffed with crossing guards. 
The decision was made by the School Crossing Guard Committee following traffic surveys of the location. This committee is comprised of representatives from Polk County Public Schools, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Board of County Commissioners Traffic Engineering Division, the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and a number of the municipalities within Polk County.
As a matter of procedure, the School Crossing Guard Committee communicates with the principal of the affected school to inform him or her of the actions taken. In addition, the principal is reminded to notify members of the committee if the situation changes, at which time another survey will be conducted.
The school crossing guard will be removed effective the end of business on Friday, March 31, 2023. 

While this review process occurs throughout the year, deputies and officers patrol school zones daily as a reminder to motorists that caution is critical. Please remember that fines are doubled in school zones and that all law enforcement members take the safety of children very seriously. As a responsible motorist, so should you.

Please Help Us Keep School Zones Safe.