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October 2018
Dear Friend,
It's October - which means Halloween is approaching and we want  everyone to have a fun and safe time.

Here are some suggestions to those who may be handing out treats at home, driving around or taking children out to "trick or treat."

Let's start with costumes. If it includes a mask, don't obstruct the eyes. Keep in mind.. many businesses restrict wearing masks indoors. If makeup is used, make sure it's non-toxic. C ostumes should be non-flammable, light in color and fit appropriately to prevent tripping. Reflective tape, flashlights and glow sticks are nice accessories to improve visibility.  Children under twelve should have adult supervision, while older children are encouraged to stay in a group and trick or treat in familiar areas. Also, don't knock on doors if lights are turned off. 

Along with running into ghosts and goblins, you'll most likely meet some not so friendly mosquitoes. So, don't forget the bug repellent. You might consider using c itronella candles or torches at home, but be careful with open flames...keep them away from possible contact with costumes. Also, make sure you secure your pets.

Just remember the basics: Try to stay on sidewalks, look both ways before crossing the street and be mindful of vehicles pulling in and out of driveways.  Be EXTRA careful on the roadways.  Day or night, expect the unexpected.  Turn on your headlights, so you can see others and they can see you and please slowdown in residential neighborhoods. 

If you are the parent of a young driver, remind them there will be small children running around. Prepare them for the possibilities.

As a reminder, we don't have set trick-or-treating times in the county, although some cities might. The general rule is, 6 pm to 9 pm. And don't forget to come to our awesome Haunted Jail! See details below.

Be safe, everyone!

Grady Judd, Sheriff 

Our Spooktacular Charity Event is coming!

Back by popular demand, PCSO presents the annual  Haunted Jail Tour  benefiting The United Way of Central Florida.
From  6:00 pm through 10:30 pm, on Friday & Saturday, October 19th & 20th, and Friday & Saturday, October 26th & 27th, 2018 , at the PCSO old jail located at 455 North Broadway Avenue in Bartow (across the street from Bartow P.D.), PCSO volunteers will present "Asylum."

For the little ones who are too young to go through the haunted jail, there will be a separate room with treats and games! Bring the whole family for a night of fun.

Food and drink will be on sale every night.
The cost to go on the tour is a $6.00 donation with all proceeds benefiting the United Way of Central Florida. 
Visitors will be taken through several areas, while being entertained with stories about the mythical "asylum" - including "fictional wards" and cells within the jail. 
This is a fun event each year, and we also raise money for charity. Enter - if you dare!
Guess who has a podcast?
We're excited to announce that on October 5, 2018, a new podcast will launch featuring Polk County's own Sheriff Grady Judd.

The "Not in My County" podcast, produc e d by the  Lakeland Ledger, will run 20-30 minutes and air weekly every Friday. It's geared to entertain as well as educate listeners and will feature stories about those "crazy criminals" with whom we interact on a weekly basis here at PCSO.

And there's a "guest of the week" segment during which Sheriff Judd will discuss important issues with newsmakers, politicians, and celebrities from across the country.   

The first podcast guest is Andy Pollack, whose daughter was killed in the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. Pollack has been instrumental in helping bring the Sheriff's School Guardian program to light in Polk County.

While Sheriff Judd is voluntarily hosting the podcast to educate and spread awareness about preventing crime, he's also hosting it on behalf of Polk Sheriff's Charities. Sponsors of the podcast are generously contributing towards all the great work the charity does.

"I'm excited about doing this weekly podcast. It will be a great opportunity to enlighten even more people about all the good work my deputies do. You'll have some laughs and you might shed a tear or two. I'll be touching on a lot of issues and also encouraging listeners to tell me what they would like to know more about." ~ Grady Judd, Sheriff.

"Not in My County with Sheriff Grady Judd" will be released each Friday and is available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tunein, Spotify, Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Concealed Weapons Course Coming Up!
T he next PCSO Concealed Weapons Course is schedu led for Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the PCSO Training Center located at 2201 Old Bartow-Eagle Lake Road in Bartow.

This is the course required by the FL Department of Agriculture as part of an application to obtain a concealed weapons permit.

YOU MUST CALL 863-298-6242, during normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 8-5) to reserve your seat. Cost of the class is $45; proceeds go to Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc., and the cost is non-refundable. Students shall not wear loose hanging clothing and shall wear close-toed shoes. 

Each student will be required to provide the following:

1- A modern manufacture firearm* capable of using modern ammunition.
2- 50 rounds of clean modern manufacture ammunition for said firearm.
3- Modern manufacture protective eye-wear designed for a shooting environment.
4- Modern manufacture hearing protection designed for a shooting environment. 
5- Adequate sun protection. (i.e. hat, long-sleeved shirt, sunscreen)
6- Adequate hydration for extended outdoor activity.

Upon arrival at the Training Center, LEAVE ALL WEAPONS AND AMMO IN YOUR VEHICLE. Report to the designated classroom for instruction. The class will start on time. Students arriving late will be asked to reschedule for a later class.
Any questions about the class, please call Sharon Pate or Brenda Wilkinson at 863-298-6242.
We Also Offer "Surviving Active Shooter" Courses
What if an assailant showed up at your church , business, or local theater? What would you do? Are you prepared?
We invite you to attend a free program presented by highly trained Polk County Sheriff's Office law enforcement professionals. Learn what the best practices are and how you can make a difference. This training is designed and appropriate for churches, businesses, or individuals, to help prepare citizens for a possible active assailant event.
All sessions are open to the public:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
PCSO Sheriff's Operations Center
1891 Jim Keene Blvd, Winter Haven
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
This training provides an overview of active shooter incidents and best practices about how to prepare for, prevent, and respond to an active shooter at your church, business, or other venue. The "Run, Hide, Fight" training model will be covered, including tactics and strategies of what to do when law enforcement arrives. Deputies will also discuss the potential role of Florida concealed weapon license holders and the legal justification of "lethal engagement" with an active assailant.
If you wish to attend any of the upcoming ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING sessions, please RSVP to, and please include the name of your church or business and a contact name and phone number, and the number of representatives expected to attend.
Save the Date!

There are only 24 more Saturdays until our favorite jeeping event! Jeepin' With Sheriff Judd is scheduled for February 22-24, 2019. 

Click here to visit our website and learn more about how to become a sponsor, vendor, or attendee. Admission is free for everyone, but those who wish to register for a course will have to donate to Polk Sheriff's Charities, Inc. We always have some great raffle prizes too! We can't wait to see you there! 
Sheriff Grady Judd

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