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He'll tell you himself: the most dangerous place in Polk County is to get between Sheriff Grady Judd and a TV camera. Polk County Sheriff Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior, and he's played a big role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland. Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham talks to the Sheriff about juvenile justice and more.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is never at a loss for words or opinions on criminal behavior. He has recently played a major role in the response to the school shooting in Parkland.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk with Sheriff Judd as part of our ongoing “Newsmaker” series.


Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook

This week on Florida Matters we're hosting another edition of our ongoing "Newsmaker" series. We talk with Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd about a number of issues, including the programs his department runs that train and arm staff members in schools to fend off active shooters.


A 13-year-old Florida boy has been involuntarily hospitalized for a second time after telling deputies he wanted to be the next school shooter.

Polk County Sheriff's deputies said they found the teen passed out on a sidewalk early Saturday. He told them he drank an entire bottle stolen from his parents' liquor cabinet and took a bunch of "happy pills," according to a news release sent Tuesday.

President Donald Trump's proposal to arm teachers in the wake of the Parkland school shooting has met with opposition from many teachers and students, but Polk County's sheriff created a program doing just that two years ago.

Southeastern University adopted Sheriff Grady Judd's "Sentinel Program" in 2016, offering 132 hours of training so teachers or faculty could become special sheriff's deputies and legally carry concealed weapons on campus.

Webber International University also adopted the program but so far they are the only institutions that have bitten.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is deriding the Polk County Sheriff’s decision to check IDs for all evacuees seeking shelter in his county.

Bradenton Herald

Authorities say the mother of an 11-year-old Florida girl who was killed after being abducted in 2004 has died of a heroin overdose.

Bay News 9

U.S. Representative Dennis Ross and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd have introduced a bill that would allow businesses whose workers interact with children to screen potential employers with polygraph testing.

The Ledger

Lawyers for a 13-year-old girl accused of bullying a classmate have filed notice that they intend to sue Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and his office.

WTSP reports the family accuses the Sheriff's Office of defamation and invasion of privacy, saying Judd had no probable cause to arrest the girl last year.

The Ledger

This November, voters in Florida will decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.  Recently, The Ledger of Lakeland hosted a forum on Amendment 2. The forum was moderated by Lenore Devore, the paper's editor, and featured Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and Orlando attorney John Morgan.

Unprecedented felony charges this week against two young girls in Florida accused of harassing a 12-year-old classmate so relentlessly that she jumped to her death – suicide – from a lonely industrial tower. The girls told Rebecca Ann Sedwick she “should go kill herself.” Rebecca finally did. The cyber-bullying messages went on even after her death. No remorse. Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said it’s gone too far. He’s bringing in the full weight of the law.

The Sheriff of Polk County, Fla. has arrested two middle school girls for bullying another girl, Rebecca Sedwick, until her suicide earlier this month.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Facebook comments were the last straw after a month long investigation into Sedwick’s death. Two girls were arrested on felony aggravated stalking charges.

TAMPA - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is back in the news - this time, he's been sued for jailing minors near adults.

That's according to a federal lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The group argues that putting minors as young as 8 in the same building with adults is a violation of their rights. Members declined to say why any of the minors had been arrested.

Lisa and Kevin Jobe say their 15-year-old son was mistreated at the jail. The couple spoke earlier today on the steps of the Tampa Federal courthouse.