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Polk County Sheriff’s Phone# 863-298-6200

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Frequently Asked Questions

the answers to your

FAQs

Welcome to the Polk County Sheriff's Office FAQ page. This area has been designed to assist you, the citizens of Polk County, in finding information on a variety of topics important to our community.  Information on the following subjects is just a click away!

If you have an emergency please dial 9-1-1!

Our non-emergency line is 863-298-6200 or 1-800-226-0344, and is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please use this number to report past-occurred crimes, or for more information.

To send a crime tip, email tips@polksheriff.org.

Please select the topic you are inquiring about from the drop-down menu below:

Detention deputy on phone

General FAQs

Answer: Yes we do. Our General Order 100.6 outlines the policy:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT GENERAL ORDER: 100.6 
EFFECTIVE: November 16, 2016 
RESCINDS: G.O. 100.6, June 16, 2016 and all applicable Amended/Temporary Orders prior to November 16, 2016 
ORIGINATED: March 31, 1994 
A. PURPOSE: The purpose of this General Order is to provide guidance to the agency in committing its members to providing quality services to people with disabilities and complying with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
B. SCOPE: This General Order shall apply to all Sheriff's Office members. 
C. DISCUSSION: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (Title II), including changes made by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008, provides that agencies of state and local governments may not exclude qualified individuals with disabilities from participation in any program, service, or activity; or deny qualified individuals with disabilities from participation in any program, service, or activity; or deny qualified individuals with disabilities the benefits of programs, services, or activities, or otherwise subject them to discrimination on the basis of disability. 
D. POLICY: 
1. It shall be the policy of the Sheriff's Office to ensure that a consistently high level of service is provided to all members of the community, including people who may require special consideration and those who are deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired, in order to access needed services. 2. It shall also be the policy of this agency to afford people with disabilities the same access to programs and services which are provided to non-disabled persons, including, but not limited to, services such as first responder recognition of the nature and characteristics of various disabilities and appropriate physical and emotional support to people with disabilities who seek to access services. 
E. PROCEDURE: 
1. Procedural Overview: 
a. No single policy or procedure can address an agency’s response to all people with disabilities. It is the intent of this General Order to guide members in responding to and assisting those people with disabilities with whom they will have the most contact in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. 
b. This General Order addresses common member interaction with people with disabilities including those who are complainants, victims, witnesses, arrestees, members of the community who desire to participate in agency-sponsored programs, people seeking information, and uninvolved bystanders. 
c. In all cases, members must take all steps necessary to assist people with disabilities in accessing the full range of immediate and follow-up services provided by this agency. Consideration must be given to those steps that will lead to a positive outcome while, at all times, maintaining member safety. 
2. Overview of Specific Disabilities: 
a. Introduction:  
1) It is not the intent of this policy to provide detailed information on all disabilities. 
2) It is incumbent on this agency to make information available to members, through training and other sources, on various disabilities. 
3) It is incumbent on all members to become aware of the characteristic of various disabilities and the needs of people who have disabilities. 
4) Members should be aware that many people have multiple disabilities. 
5) The following section provides a brief overview of several disabilities and how the agency and its members should respond to the needs of people with these disabilities. 
b. Visual Disabilities: 
1) One of the most difficult issues facing people in need who are blind or vision impaired is identifying law enforcement officials. Members should offer detailed information in identifying themselves as members of the agency. Whenever possible, if the presence of a visual disability is known, members may have the Emergency Communications Center contact the victim or complainant to verify to them that a member of the agency has arrived. 
2) Members do not need to raise their voice when speaking. Members should not grab the person's arm to lead them in a particular direction. If needed, the individual will take the member's arm for guidance. 
3) Signs and printed information at agency facilities shall be in large print in order to assist people with vision impairments. Room identification signs and elevator information in those facilities where people may proceed unaccompanied should be in Braille for blind people. 
c. Mental, Emotional and Psychological Disabilities: 
1) The terms "mental illness," "emotional illness," and "psychological illness" describe varying levels of a group of disabilities causing disturbances in thinking, feeling, and relating. 
2) Members must ensure that people with mental, emotional, and psychological disabilities are assisted in accessing agency services, which may require time and patience beyond that usually provided. 
3) If an individual with a mental, emotional, or psychological disability is taken into custody, members must make reasonable efforts, while taking precautions, to use the least restraint possible and protect the arrestee from self-injury. 
4) Frequently, a family member or friend is of great value in calming an individual exhibiting unusual behavior as a result of mental or emotional impairment. If needed, steps should be taken to gain placement for the individual in an appropriate emergency medical, health care, or shelter facility. 
5) Members must become familiar with appropriate government agencies, nonprofit agencies, volunteer organizations, and emergency medical services available to provide assistance to people with mental, emotional, and psychological disabilities. 
6) Deputy sheriffs and detention deputies must remain familiar with appropriate emergency commitment/detention procedures to be used when providing shelter care and related support to people with mental, emotional, or psychological disabilities. 
d. Mental Retardation: 
1) Mental retardation encompasses a broad range of developmental disabilities from mild to profound. Mental retardation and mental illness are distinct conditions, with no similarity. 
2) Members should recognize that people who have mental retardation have varied degrees of limited intellectual functioning. In all situations, members should ask short questions, be patient when waiting for answers, repeat questions and answers, if necessary, have individuals repeat the question in their own words, and provide reassurance. 
3) In responding to the needs of people with severe or profound mental retardation, the aid of family, friends, and neighbors is invaluable. 
e. Mobility Impairments: 
1) People with mobility-related impairments include those who have difficulty walking, those who use a wheelchair or other mobility aid, and those who are immobile. 
2) In a critical or emergency situation, members should be aware of the safest and most rapid methods for assisting people with mobility impairments to avoid causing them unnecessary strain or injury. 
3) In an arrest encounter, once an arrestee with a mobility impairment is secure in a cell and safety concerns are resolved, an effort should be made to return the use of any mobility aids (wheelchair, cane, etc.). 
4) Agency facilities should be accessible to people with mobility impairments. Entrances, interior routes, stairs, drinking fountains, restrooms, and telephones should accommodate people with mobility impairments. 
f. Invisible Disabilities: 
1) Many disabilities are difficult to notice. A member’s failure to recognize characteristics associated with certain invisible disabilities could have serious consequences for the person with the disability. For example, outward signs of a disability such as epilepsy and diabetes are difficult to detect until the person’s condition severely deteriorates. 
2) Members should realize that involuntary behavior associated with some invisible disabilities may resemble behavior characteristically exhibited by intoxicated or, less frequently, combative individuals. For example, a person experiencing a mild seizure may appear incoherent and physically imbalanced. The response is temporary. 
3) A member's patience and understanding of the characteristics commonly associated with invisible disabilities will lead to a successful outcome. An inaccurate assessment may lead to unnecessary confrontation, injury, and denial of needed medication and/or medical treatment. 
4) As with all types of disabilities, a member's first obligation is to protect the individual from unnecessary harm. Family members and friends should be sought to provide information and assistance. Their presence may prove invaluable in understanding the needs of the person with the disability and guiding the member's actions. 
g. Speech and Hearing Disabilities: 
1) Like other invisible disabilities, members may confuse the behavior of individuals with hearing and speech disabilities with those of people who intentionally refuse to cooperate or those who abuse illegal substances. Members should be aware that an individual's failure to comply with or respond to verbal orders does not always constitute defiance, but may be the result of that individual's inability to hear the member or respond verbally. Before committing themselves to a course of action, members 
should attempt to identify whether or not they are dealing with a person who has a communication related disability. 
2) It is essential that members take extra measures to protect the rights of suspects who are deaf or hearing-impaired. 
3) The Emergency Communications Center shall be equipped with a variable volume public telephone and a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) in order to provide telephone access to people who are deaf or hearing-impaired who desire to call the Sheriff's Office from an external location. 
4) In situations when a non-disabled person would have access to a telephone, members shall provide persons who are deaf or hearing-impaired the opportunity to place telephone calls using a teletypewriter (TTY), also known as a telecommunications device for the deaf. 
5) Members shall also accept telephone calls placed by persons who are deaf or hearing-impaired through the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). 
6) The agency has TDD/TTY and TRS access or an equivalent system at each answering point position in the Emergency Communications Center. Members shall contact the Emergency Communications Center for assistance in obtaining the use of a TDD/TTY or TRS. 
h. To serve each individual effectively, primary consideration shall be given to providing the type of communication aid or service requested by the individual. The member shall find out from the person who is deaf or hearing-impaired what type of auxiliary aid or service they need and shall defer to those expressed choices, unless: 
1) There is another equally effective way of communicating, given the circumstances, length, complexity, and importance of the communication, as well as the communication skills of the person who is deaf or hearing-impaired; or 
2) Doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the law enforcement or detention activity in question or would cause an undue administrative or financial burden; only the Chief of Staff or designee may make this determination. 
i. The input of people who are deaf or hearing-impaired who are involved in incidents is just as important to the law enforcement or detention process as the input of others. The member must not draw conclusions about incidents unless they fully understand, and are understood by all those involved, including people who are deaf or hearing-impaired. 
j. People who are deaf or hearing-impaired shall not be charged for the cost of an auxiliary aid or service needed for effective communication. 
3. Interviews of Persons with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder: Interviews of a victim, suspect, or defendant diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder shall be conducted in accordance with G.O. 42.2, Criminal Investigations Operations. 
4. Responsibility of Members: 
a. In the performance of their duties, members may encounter people with disabilities in every possible situation. In providing law enforcement service to the public, it is incumbent on every member to ensure people with disabilities are afforded all rights, privileges, and access to the agency provided to those without disabilities. 
b. People with disabilities may also be suspects or arrestees and require detention, transport, and processing. Members must familiarize themselves with the proper methods of transport, arrest, and detention to ensure officer safety while providing all reasonable support to an arrestee with a disability. 
c. Members must develop the ability to recognize the characteristics of various disabilities, including symptoms, and physical reactions. 
d. Members must recognize that responses of people with certain disabilities may resemble those of people who have abused substances such as alcohol or drugs. At times, such traits may be exhibited by people with diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, hearing impairments, and other disabilities. 
e. Members should be able to identify and apply appropriate responses, such as emergency medical aid, protecting and/or calming the individual, using basic sign language, securing professional medical attention, locating and enlisting support of family and friends, and rendering proper physical support. 
f. Deputy sheriffs should be able to identify and apply appropriate restraint to a person with a disability, if needed to facilitate an arrest. When affecting an arrest of a person with a disability, deputy sheriffs should be able to access the support systems necessary to secure the rights of the individual. This may include use of interpreters, or legal guardians. 
g. In all cases, member safety must prevail. No member should jeopardize their safety, or that of others, in an attempt to accommodate a person with a disability. 
5. Agency Responsibilities: 
a. The Human Resources Division shall develop training programs and provide information to all members on the recognition of various disabilities and the provision of appropriate law enforcement services to people with disabilities. The Training Section shall provide assistance and facilitate the completion of training as may be required. 
b. ADA Coordinator: 
1) The Benefits Supervisor shall be the agency’s ADA Coordinator, to serve as a resource to agency members and citizens in the agency’s service area. The ADA Coordinator’s office telephone number shall be made readily available and published on the appropriate agency correspondence, forms and intranet (S14). [CFA 1.05] [FCAC 4.11] 
2) Annually, the agency shall publish the name and office telephone number of the agency’s ADA Coordinator. 
3) The ADA Coordinator shall ensure the complaint/grievance process is published on the agency’s Internet and intranet (S14). 
4) The ADA Coordinator shall receive annual training addressing ADA issues and accessibility requirements. 
5) The ADA Coordinator shall ensure the agency’s diversity training includes Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and ADA material. 
6) Any member having questions regarding the ADA, providing services to people with disabilities, or the employment of people with disabilities, should direct their inquiry to the Benefits Supervisor. 
c. In order for members to provide the highest level of service or safe custodial care to people with disabilities, the Crime Prevention Section shall develop and regularly update a list of agencies available to provide guidance, support, and direct assistance. 
d. The Crime Prevention Section shall provide updated rosters to the Emergency Communications Center of support agencies and individuals who may be contacted on a twenty-four (24)-hour-per-day basis to provide support in situations involving people with disabilities. The agency shall provide reasonable accommodations to all qualified individuals who have disabilities. 
e. Routine and Emergency Interaction: In providing routine and emergency services, equality in response, support and protection shall be provided to all people, including those with disabilities. Members shall make every effort to access appropriate support organizations when needed. All agency services shall be made available to people with disabilities. This includes: 
1) Communications Accessibility for both Emergency and Routine Situations: All 
telecommunicators shall be trained to recognize characteristics of people whose disabilities may require special communications techniques and methods for providing service. 
2) Access to Agency Programs: Crime prevention programs such as Neighborhood Watch, youth programs, in-school programs, and other programs shall be made available to people with disabilities through outreach, modified program schedules, use of interpreters or other auxiliary aids and services, and other efforts to accommodate special needs. 
3) Response to Routine Calls for Service: 
a) Members should be sensitive to the fact that some people with disabilities may be targeted as crime victims as a direct result of their disability. 
b) Members should be familiar with techniques they may employ to provide support to people with disabilities. All reasonable steps should be taken to aid people with disabilities in bringing calls for law enforcement service to successful completion. 
4) Response to Emergency Calls for Service: 
a) As first responders, all members should be able to identify characteristics common to specific disabilities in a crisis or emergency so appropriate action may be taken to render aid and assistance. If the person with the disability is unable to communicate, members should seek a medical alert bracelet or similar form of identification and input from family, witnesses, and others to aid in identifying the nature of the disability. 
b) All members should utilize notes and other means available to communicate with people who are deaf to obtain basic information on matters such as nature of the incident, location and extent of injury, name and address, and family member or other person to be contacted. 
5) Response to Criminal and Disruptive Behavior: 
a) Some people with disabilities commit crimes. Some people with disabilities also exhibit disruptive behavior. 
b) People with disabilities who commit crimes or engage in disorderly conduct should receive no preferential treatment. However, disorderly conduct should not be treated as a criminal activity when it is the manifestation of a disability. For example, when such conduct is the result of a seizure or mental disability, the call for service should be handled as a medical call rather than an arrest situation. 
c) In all such situations, deputy sheriffs should take reasonable precaution to protect themselves and others. 
f. Arrest and Incarceration: 
1) Members should employ appropriate precautions and safety techniques in arresting, transporting, and incarcerating all people, whether or not they have a disability. Members should follow all policies and standard techniques for arrest, transportation, and incarceration when taking a person with disabilities into custody. 
2) A person whose disability affects the muscular and/or skeletal system may not be able to be restrained using handcuffs or other standard techniques. Alternative methods shall be sought. 
3) Some people with disabilities require physical aids to maintain their mobility. Once the immediate presence of danger has diminished and the suspect is safely detained, the best method of transport shall be determined. 
a) In the event an arrestee is confined to a wheelchair, the deputy sheriff shall ask the arrestee if there is any medical reason(s) the arrestee cannot be removed from their wheelchair and be transported in an agency patrol vehicle. 
b) If the arrestee cannot be removed from their wheelchair, the deputy sheriff shall notify their supervisor and wheelchair accessible transportation shall be arranged to transport the arrestee. The arrestee shall be guarded at all times by the deputy sheriff, regardless of the mode of transportation. 
4) Prescribed medication may be required at regular intervals by people with disabilities. Medical personnel should be contacted immediately to determine the importance of administering the medication. 
5) Lack of speech or other speech impairment may make it difficult for a suspect to notify the member of an urgent need. Frequent cell checks shall be conducted. 
6. Support Agencies and Organizations: For additional information and/or support for individuals who have specific disabilities, members should refer to the United Way Quick Guide for Community Resource Services. 
F. GLOSSARY: 
AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL) - A complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. 
ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICES - Devices that enable a person who is hearing-impaired to hear better. A telephone earpiece amplifier is an example. 
AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES - Any device or method that enables one to communicate better with the disabled. 
DISABILITY - With respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, 
hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity includes the operation of a major bodily function including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, 
neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. 
QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY - An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity. 
REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION - Includes the modification of existing facilities to facilities that are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; job restructuring, part-time, or modified work schedules; reassignment of a member with a disability to a vacant position; acquisition or modification of equipment; and appropriate alteration of examinations, training materials, or policies. 
SIGNED ENGLISH - A form of communication/instruction in which signs are used in exact English word order, with some additional signs representing conventions such as the “ing” word ending. 
TDD/TTY - Text telephone. A special device that allows people who are deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech impaired to use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening. A TDD/TTY is required at both ends of the conversation in order to communicate. 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE (TRS) - A service that permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system by means of a text telephone (TDD/TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. 
G. INDEXING: ADA AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT DISABILITIES 
H. ACCREDITATION STANDARDS: 
CALEA (none) 
CFA5ed 1.05 
FCAC4ed 4.11 
PSCA (none) 
NIGP (none) 
DRAFTED:2790/November 2, 2016/Filed:100.6go 
APPROVED: Grady Judd /s/ GRADY JUDD SHERIFF, POLK COUNTY 

Answer: Yes we do.

It is the responsibility of the Polk County Sheriff's Office to provide law enforcement and related services to the public equally, regardless of race, color, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap, mental handicap, or religion, and bias-based profiling will not be tolerated. This standard is in accordance with Florida State Statute 30.15, which states:

"On or before January 1, 2002, every sheriff shall incorporate an antiracial or other anti-discriminatory profiling policy into the sheriff's policies and practices, utilizing the Florida Police Chiefs Association Model Policy as a guide. Anti-profiling policies shall include the elements of definitions, traffic stop procedures, community education and awareness efforts, and policies for the handling of complaints from the public."

Bias-based profiling issues, including legal aspects, are provided to sworn members of the agency during in-service training and in accordance with the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC) requirements. Numerous policies incorporate the prohibition of bias-based profiling and PCSO members are responsible for ensuring all members of the community are treated with dignity and respect.

For any questions related to this, please contact the PCSO Office of Professional Compliance at 863-298-6389.

Crime Reporting FAQs

Answer: There are 3 options:

  • 1) Call our main number, 863-298-6200, and tell the call taker that you want to provide information about your neighbor who is up to something illegal (possibly selling drugs). Make sure you tell them that you don't want a deputy to come by your house if you do not want them to (if you are concerned about your neighbor). You can ask to speak with a supervisor who works in your area.
  • 2) Send detailed tip information to tips@polksheriff.org. This email address goes directly to detectives. Provide the address, names, vehicle descriptions, time of day it most often occurs, and any other detail you know.
  • 3) You can also send your tip to Crime Stoppers and you may be eligible for a cash reward if it results in an arrest. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION WHO WANTS TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CASH REWARD IS ASKED TO CALL HEARTLAND CRIME STOPPERS AT 1-800-226-TIPS or LOG ONTO www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com. ANONYMITY IS GUARANTEED!

Answer: We advise people who are being bullied or harassed online to report, block, and/or ban the people doing the bullying. The first line of defense against messages being sent to you online that are disturbing to you, is to block the sender or ban the sender from your page, and completely cease all communications with him or her. If it’s occurring over a cell phone, block the person from being able to contact you. If the bullying escalates from there - where it is no longer online – and you feel you are in danger of being physically harmed, you need to call law enforcement IMMEDIATELY. Posting mean things on the Internet is usually not a crime, but it often violates social media policies, so reporting the content to the social media company and blocking the person is the best way to go.

Answer: The standard Municipal speed limit for residential areas in Florida is generally 30 MPH unless otherwise posted. If you are having a specific traffic issue in an area you may call our main number at 863-298-6200 and ask for a patrol request and/or "directed traffic assignment" request. Please be prepared to provide a specific location, the nature of the problem, and specific times of day that the issue seems to be the most problematic.

Answer: It is generally not against the law to post a disturbing image or video on the Internet or social media (as you know, there is a freedom of speech issue, as well as complete anonymity for those who post such things, so identifying the poster is extremely difficult), but disturbing images and videos, especially ones that appear to depict a crime being committed, may violate certain social media policies and can be illegal. First and foremost – DO NOT SHARE the image or video. Report it to the website or social media platform where it’s posted to have it removed. The party that you report it to will contact the appropriate law enforcement agency. If you have an idea of who the victim is, or who the suspect is, you may also report the information to the law enforcement agency in that area. If you do not have an idea about any of the parties in the video, try doing a little research online using broad terms to see if it’s a case that’s already been resolved. For example – a disturbing video was shared on social media depicting an Alabama man abusing a child. PCSO received dozens of Facebook private messages from our fans asking us to “do something.” A quick Google search using the words “man abusing child video” led us to a few news stories that detailed the man’s arrest in Alabama for the crime. The Snopes website is also a great resource.

Answer: Call law enforcement: you can dial *FHP to connect with the Florida Highway Patrol, or 9-1-1 in an emergency. Interacting with someone who is driving erratically is not wise – taking a photo or video of it while driving is not recommended either. There is not much law enforcement can do after-the-fact. For example – PCSO often receives Facebook private messages containing videos and images of someone violating a traffic law. The complainant will often say, “You can see the tag number, go arrest this person.” That is not how crime reporting works. First and foremost, we do not take crime reports via social media. We cannot take an image of a car violating a law, identify the driver, and go to that person’s house to initiate a report. Secondly, law enforcement officers need a sworn statement from a witness and/or to witness the act themselves in order to be able to charge someone with a crime. They also need to be dispatched to a call for service by our dispatchers – which means the complaint has to be called in to our Emergency Communications Center. We answer 863-298-6200 24/7.

Citizen Complaint FAQs

Answer: It is the policy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office to investigate all complaints against the agency and our members. Our Administrative Investigation Sections (AIS) will thoroughly, expeditiously, and impartially investigate all complaints or cases involving the agency's integrity. This includes all anonymous complaints. AIS can be reached by calling 863-298-6506, or in person or via U.S. mail at the Sheriff's Operations Center, 1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven, FL, 33880. 

Answer: If you know the agency member's name or member number, call 863-298-6200 to find out where that person is assigned, and ask to be connected to a supervisor. If you don't know the person's name, but know the general area where the incident in question occurred, whether it was at an agency facility (such as the jail), or out in the community (in one of our contract cities, or areas of patrol) visit our Contact Us page to find the phone number to that facility or district, and ask to speak to a supervisor.

Answer: Yes. It is our policy to investigate all complaints against the agency and our members and to maintain an Administrative Investigations Section (AIS) which shall thoroughly, expeditiously, and impartially investigate all complaints - this includes anonymous complaints.

How a citizen can make an anonymous complaint:

By telephone, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., call the Sheriff's Operations Center at 863-298-6200, or the Administrative Investigations Section at 863-298-6506.

After hours, call 863-298-6200 or 1-800-226-0344.

Answer: Yes. Once an Administrative Investigations complaint is complete, it is public record and available for inspection by the public.

Criminal Investigations FAQs

Answer: Report the Identify theft to the Sheriff’s Office or the State Attorney’s Office. The Identification Section will obtain your fingerprints and compare them to the fingerprint on the traffic citation. A report of the findings will be provided to the traffic court and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Records Section.

Answer: We do have an automated Fingerprint Identification System that can search unidentified fingerprints and palm prints, however this system only selects possible matches. The final comparison and identification must be performed by a person with the required expertise.

Answer: Yes and No. We are fortunate in that we are provided with state of the art equipment. We have most of what is shown on television, and we perform a lot of the same functions as seen. However, our agency does not have lab capabilities. We document the scene, process for latent fingerprints and collect evidence. All laboratory analysis is performed at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab. Additionally, all our technicians are civilians, they do not conduct interviews nor do they have arrest powers. And finally, it is not as glamorous or as easy as it is on television. The actors and actresses never get dirty and always complete the crime scene documentation, the entire investigation, the autopsy, and lab analysis all in one hour. It is not uncommon for us to spend ten or twelve hours at a homicide scene just documenting the scene, processing for latent fingerprints, and collecting evidence.

Answer: The minimum qualifications to work at the Sheriff’s Office are a high school diploma or a G.E.D. The training is on the job, and lasts a minimum of 16 weeks. The first four weeks the trainee learns how to operate each piece of equipment, how and what to photograph, how to process for fingerprints, and how to collect and package evidence. The next twelve weeks are broken down into two phases – the first part is where the trainee is exposed to calls and the trainer works the call, the trainee takes “pretend” pictures, packages “pretend” evidence and latent fingerprints, and writes a “pretend” report. In the second part, the trainee will be responsible for the investigation – photographs, evidence, latent fingerprints and the report.
Through this phase the trainee is given less and less guidance and during the last two weeks, the trainee works the call with little or no assistance from the trainer.

Answer:

  • For pulling a gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years is imposed.
  • For certain felony crimes or attempted felonies, the 10 year mandatory sentence is authorized if the criminal possess a gun (or destructive device).
  • For firing the gun during a crime the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years.
  • For injuring or killing a victim by firing the gun during a crime, a mandatory minimum sentence from 25 years to life in prison is authorized. Parole is not available for these criminals.
  • Felon possessing a gun 3 Years
  • Pulling a gun to commit a crime 10 Years
  • Pulling the trigger during a crime 20 Years
  • Injuring or killing a victim by firing a gun during a crime 25 Years to Life

Court Process FAQs

Answer: We cannot give you an exact date, however, you can check our website or call the Court Process Section in approximately 7 to 10 working days to check on the status.

Answer: We do not send deputies to “stand by” while property is picked up without a court order from a judge.

Answer: You will need to contact the Court Process Section so a deputy can set up an appointment.

Answer: The Florida Division of Consumer Services has a pamphlet available that provides basic guidelines.

Answer: You will need to consult with an attorney. Members at the Sheriff’s Office cannot give you legal advice.

Inmate Account FAQs

Answer: We place a seven-day hold on money orders or checks over $100.00 to ensure our bank receives the funds.

Answer: Our $100 seven-day hold rule cannot be avoided by breaking down the amount into several money orders or check for lesser amounts.

Answer: Our practice is always to mail the check to the address on file. This is an internal financial control.

Answer: Balances can be picked up any time day or night at the book-in window for your own account with proper photo ID.

Answer: We charge $2.00 per day. There is a $30.00 book-in fee and a $9.00 hygiene kit fee. Any charges not paid on a previous account will be rolled forward.

Child-Related FAQs

Answer: Per Florida Statute 316.613 Child restraint requirements — 
(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. 
1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used.  

Answer: The deputies are assigned to the schools to provide security on the grounds during school hours. They are assigned to enforce Florida State Statutes, not the School Code of Conduct. If the problem is with the facility, contact the Polk County School Board.

Answer: There are several ways to address this problem. If the bus stop is located inside a city limit, you can contact that police agency with jurisdiction. If it occurs outside a municipality, you may contact the Sheriff’s Office and a deputy will be dispatched. The student may also report it to the School Resource Deputy or Officer when they arrive at school.

Answer: Yes. Florida Law does not require a School Resource Deputy or Police Officer to notify you in advance. It only requires the deputy or police officer to notify you as soon as possible when the student is arrested.

Answer: This question depends on the age of the minor. A minor under the age of 16 can never lawfully consent to sexual intercourse. A minor who is at least 16 years of age or older can lawfully consent to intercourse if the second party is less than 24 years of age and at least 16 years old.

Answer: The age of the minors involved can factor into this question. If the minors are both between the ages of 12 but less than 16, they both can be charged. If one minor is less than 12 and the other over 12, the child over 12 will be charged. Child on child acts committed by minors who are both under the age of 12 are evaluated on a case by case basis.

Answer: Emancipation is the act by which a minor, who had limited legal rights and additional legal privileges, gains all the rights and responsibilities of an adult and has the legal capacity to act as an adult.
Emancipation does not change the effect of laws which restrict behavior by a minimum age.

Answer: Natural emancipation occurs when a minor turns 18 years of age. Early emancipation usually occurs by court order. To obtain a court order:

  1. The minor must be at least 16 years of age.
  2. A petition must be filed by the minor’s parent, guardian or guardian ad litem.
  3. The petition must show the judge that the minor is independent and able to support himself/herself and his/her child, if he/she is parenting.
    • (A) He/she must either be supporting himself/herself or have a specific plan in place to do so.
    • (B) He/she can not be dependent on public benefits.
  4. The person must give the judge reasons why the minor needs to be emancipated.
  5. When a minor is married he/she is emancipated.
    • (A) Marriage requires parental consent.
    • (B) A minor under 16 can not get married even with parental consent.

Off-Duty Deputy FAQs

Answer: No. Deputies may not be hired to work off-duty as security guards. The deputy cannot work a detail when the primary reason for the request is due to alcohol being served and consumed.

Answer: If the route includes a County Road, you will also need a County Permit. This may be obtained by calling the County Administrative Building at 863-534-4020. When you have the permit, you must also FAX a copy to CSX Police Communication Center when the escort will travel through a railroad crossing. The FAX Number is 1-800-232-0144. Once this has been done the Special Detail Lieutenant will review the request and determine how many deputies will be required to do the escort.

Answer: A vendor must contact the police agency having jurisdiction where the detail is located. If that agency cannot provide an off-duty officer, they must contact the PCSO Extra-Duty Employment Coordinator and request assistance.

The PCSO Extra-Duty Employment Coordinator manages these requests Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The unit can be reached by calling 863-298-6231 or emailing to extradutyemployment@polksheriff.org, or click here to visit that section of the website.