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Sheriff Grady Judd

Sheriff Grady Judd

Grady Curtis Judd Jr (B. March 10, 1954), is an American Sheriff for Polk County in the state of Florida. [1] He is known for having a long career with the Sheriff's department having held numerous positions in the span of over four decades. He has been reelected as Sheriff in the seat county of Bartow three consecutive times.


Early Life

Born and raised in the state of Florida, he grew up in South Combee Road in the city of Lakeland, Florida, for most of his life. His mother was Martha Judd, and Grady Judd Sr. His father was a service manager at the Tomlinson Oldsmobile Cadillac dealership. He also has a younger sister, Lee Ann.

Since he was 8 years old, he wanted to be a cop.

He would often play cops and robbers with his toys in the front yard of his home.

He would often see Polk County Sheriff Monroe Brannen pull up next door at his neighbor's house.

Judd's neighbor as a little boy was the brother of the Sheriff.

He captivated a young Grady Judd by the way he would wear his badge, uniform and gun.

His father, Grady Judd Sr., remembers when his little boy hummed the music from the television show, Dragnet. His father is quoted as saying: “I’d guess I’d have to say as soon as he started walking and talking, he wanted to be a police officer.”

Enterprising Young Man

Young Judd had always been active and on the move.

When his father taught him and his little sister about the value of the dollar, Judd Jr. went to earn his.

At 10, Judd delivered newspapers.

When he was 15, he started mowing grass to buy a motorcycle and a pool table.

Judd made his friends do one of his chores before they could play.

A year after Judd bought the motorcycle, he traded it in for a 1962 four-cylinder Chevy II with rusted floorboards.

Judd and his father fixed the floorboards and had the car painted.

At a time in the 1960s when young men were letting their hair grow and smoking marijuana, he was often found in the library.

His father recounts how Judd Jr. never rebelled and stayed true to his word: if he would say he would be home by 11 p.m., he would be home by 11 p.m.

High School Years

Judd attended Crystal Lake Junior High and Lakeland High School.

During his junior year in high school he was hired as an ambulance service attendant in Winter Haven, Florida. At the age of 16, he helped deliver a baby when he was 16.


Before attending a four year University, he attended Polk Community College, where he received his certificate in Political science.

Judd graduated from Rollins College with a Bachelor's in 1978 and later on a Master's degree in Criminal justice in 1981.

Police Training

Below is a list of trainings that Sheriff Judd has attended over the years:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Academy, Session 168, 1992.

  • Senior Management Institute for Police, Police Executive Research Forum, Session 20, 1997.

  • Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute, Chief Executive Seminar, Class 21, 1998

  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS), Session 47, 2003.

  • National Sheriffs Association, National Sheriffs Institute, Session 89, 2005.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Executive Institute, Session 30, 2007

  • Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP), 2011.


Right after high school, he submitted a work application to the Sheriff's office.

On July 21, 1972, he was hired as a $300-a-month dispatcher. He was the first deputy younger than 21.

As a dispatcher, he worked from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

While attending the Police Academy, he spent 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in classes and training programs, in addition to his dispatch job.

He went on to move up quickly in the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Louie Mims promoted him to captain in 1982 and transferred him to the criminal investigation division.

Mims, who was sheriff from 1976 to 1985, said Judd will be a good sheriff.

But he said Judd should seek change in the agency judiciously.

At age 27, he was a homicide captain who supervised 44 employees with a $1 million budget.

He made a yearly salary of $22,000.

Every employee Judd commanded was older than he was.

Judd was promoted to major in 1989 and six years later, Crow promoted him to colonel.

1981 & 1986 Shootings

In 1981, one of his best friends in the Sheriff's officer was killed.

They had been long time friends since they were in high school and took college classes together.

They also participated in police academy together.

The shooting was linked to methamphetamine, a drug that has plagued Polk County for more than 20 years.

It was the first time in Polk County a deputy had been shot in a methamphetamine-related incident.

Judd jr. blamed himself for the shooting.

The sadness continued for Judd, when his undercover partner, Waymon Allen, was accidentally shot by a Winter Haven police officer during a drug raid in 1986.

Sheriff Daniels: 1980s

The mid-1980s was not a good time for the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Daniels ran a populist campaign to defeat the incumbent Mims in the 1984 election.

Judd figured he would lose his job when Daniels won.

When Daniels decided to keep him, Judd almost resigned amid allegations of corruption and incompetence in Daniels’ administration.

Judd thought of the experience as one of the most difficult times in his career.

Daniels resigned from office Jan. 20, 1987.

Daniels' tenure was dogged by allegations of corruption and links of some deputies he hired to the Ku Klux Klan.

Sheriff 2005

Grady Judd Jr. has been the Sheriff of Cobb County since 2005.

He replaced Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow Jr., who retired thereafter.

Sheriff Crow had for quite some time groomed Judd as his successor.

Many in the office saw the succession as a "Coronation" for Judd.

He laid out his goals as a Sheriff:

  • Continue using religious programs in an attempt to help jail inmates and initiate new programs inside the jail that are centered around inmates who work.

  • Expand the South County Jail, which Judd said is 800 inmates above its capacity.

  • Hire enough deputies.

  • Judd said last week that a study to determine how many deputies will be needed was ongoing and he could not provide any numbers.

  • Hire more minorities and women to high-ranking positions.

  • Of the 1,700 employees at the Sheriff’s Office, only 15 minorities and women are in highranking law enforcement and civilian positions

Hurricane Irma (2017)

On September 9th, 2017, Sheriff Judd took to Twitter to announce t hat deputies would check the identification of those who seek harbor from Hurricane Irma at an emergency shelter in Polk County. He also tweeted, “We cannot and we will not have innocent children in a shelter with sexual offenders & predators. Period.” In another tweet, the sheriff added, “If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we’ll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail.”

People began to ridicule the Sheriff.

Some of the nicer critics labeled him a “monster,” “repugnant,” “disgusting” and “deplorable.”

Among them was the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which maintained that most fugitives are sought on warrants for nonviolent or “low-level” offenses that pose no risk to others, and which blasted Judd for “burnishing his Joe-Arpaio-style ‘tough-cop’ credentials with a series of irresponsible tweets.”

Yet, the sheriff offered this statement: “There is no amnesty for violating the law.

If you have an outstanding warrant and come to the shelter, we have a legal obligation to arrest you.”


Citation Linkpolksheriff.orgThe about section of Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sep 10, 2017, 7:50 PM
Citation Linkwfla.comThe article about Grady Judd saying that he will not put up with looters during the Hurricane Irma.
Sep 10, 2017, 7:50 PM
Citation Linknewschief.comArticle about the tweets sent by Sheriff Grady Judd about the criminals seeking shelter from the hurricane.
Sep 10, 2017, 7:53 PM
Citation Linkorlandosentinel.comOrlando Sentinelabout the arrests they made as proposed by Sheriff Grady Judd, during the hurricane.
Sep 10, 2017, 7:54 PM
Citation Linkfacebook.comThe Facebookgroup dedicated to Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sep 10, 2017, 7:58 PM
Citation Linkpolksheriff.orgSheriff Grady Judd's biography and accomplishments.
Sep 10, 2017, 8:09 PM
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of Sheriff Grady Judd greeting some folks.
Sep 10, 2017, 8:36 PM
Citation Linkyoutu.beSheriff Grady Judd press conference.
Sep 10, 2017, 8:40 PM
Citation Linkflsheriffs.orgFurther information about the background of Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sep 10, 2017, 9:07 PM
Citation Linktheledger.comArticle about the early Life of Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sep 10, 2017, 9:11 PM