The story began with a traffic stop for speeding. It soon escalated to a fleeing fugitive killing a police officer and his dog, as well as the shooting of another officer. It ended with a SWAT team opening fire on the suspect when they saw him with a gun in his hand. In all they fired 110 bullets, with 68 of them hitting the suspect.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd was quoted as saying, “I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that’s all the ammunition they had.”

An outspoken man of the law

Sheriff Judd has been sheriff of Polk County since 2004, after beginning his career with the sheriff’s office in 1972 as a dispatcher. Sheriff Judd has earned higher education degrees through the Masters level and has graduated from the FBI National Academy. He has taught at both the University of South Florida and Florida Southern College for over two decades. Sheriff Judd is currently the President of the Major Counties Sheriffs of America, a national organization serving counties with a population of 500,000 or more.

In the news

For those of you not from the Polk County area of Florida, you are missing out. Sheriff Judd has made national news a number of times for his outspoken comments. Some recent highlights:

  • 2017: “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,” he tweeted. Sheriff Judd said he wanted protect innocent children from sexual offenders and predators.
  • 2017: “We don’t choose to shoot people, they choose for us to shoot them. And if you choose for us to shoot at you, we’re gonna shoot at you… a lot,” Sheriff Judd said in a press conference.
  • Judd’s advice for gun owners confronted with an active shooter situation: “Shoot them. Shoot them a lot until the threat’s neutralized.”
  • 2016: Sheriff Judd was angry that Apple CEO Tim Cook had refused to comply with a judge’s order to hack into a San Bernardo shooter’s iPhone for the FBI. For now, Grady is going to keep an eye open for a similar situation in his territory. And if that happens, Cook had better watch out, because we’ll get a court order, Sheriff Grady said. “And when they deny us, I’m going to go lock the CEO of Apple up,” he said. “I’ll lock the rascal up.”

A quotable man

Sheriff Judd has a way with words that is appreciated here in Polk County.

  • “You can’t fix stupid but you can arrest stupid. ”
  • “Don’t start shooting through your front door, that wouldn’t be good. ”
  • “This is the face and these are the eyes of a cold-blooded murderer. ”
  • “Alcohol does not make a smarter individual. ”
  • “If you are foolish enough to break into someone’s home, you can expect to be shot in Polk County. ”
  • “It’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone. ”
  • “It’s not usually a good idea to taunt the Sheriff’s Office on Facebook. ”
  • “The armed assailant doesn’t plan on you fighting back. He plans on having a gun, doing all the shooting, and you’re just the sitting duck. Well, the ducks need to shoot back.”

Should you run afoul of the law in Polk County, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how the prosecution builds their cases—and knows how to break them apart.