POLK COUNTY, FL – In what we can call a “no brainer”, a lawman who spends his life dealing with people with no brains and keeping his community safe has won the 2022 Sheriff of the Year Award. Polk County, Florida Grady Judd was bestowed the honor after proving he has what it takes to fight crime and lock up the bad guys.
On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, Sheriff Grady Judd was awarded the inaugural Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) Sandra S. Hutchens Sheriff of the Year award.
MCSA President Sheriff Dennis Lemma presented the award during the 2022 Winter Conference annual awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C., for Sheriff Judd’s “steady leadership, mentorship, and friendship at the helm of MCSA [which] gave this association a visionary foundation for growth to ‘Lead the Way’ in the profession of law enforcement.”
Last year, Judd had harsh words for New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy after one of the violent inmates set free under the governor’s COVID-19 early release act committed murder and ended up in Judd’s Jurisdiction.
James Lewis was sentenced to 30 years in prison but was set free 10 years ahead of schedule. He was released early due to Murphy’s COVID-19 early release program for incarcerated criminals. Upon his release, Lewis shot and killed a man who was helping a woman load groceries into her car. He then tied the woman up and stole her car, with her in it. Troy Traynham was a security guard.
He eventually ended up in Polk County at the home of relatives in the area, according to Sheriff Judd.
“I’m mad at everyone who turns criminals out early. I’m over people who say we keep people housed too long,” Judd said. “If you don’t keep prolific criminals and murderers locked up, they’re going to go back in the neighborhood and murder and victimize innocent people whether it’s New Jersey, Florida or anywhere else.”
Judd sharply criticized Murphy’s early prison release program which lead to 5 additional murders by those he set free since the program began.
“How’s that working out for you…shame on you,” Judd said of Murphy’s ill-fated plan. “Why don’t you go talk to the victim’s family and see if they thought that was a good idea?”
“I was humbled and honored to receive the very first Sheriff Sandra Hutchens MCSA Sheriff of the Year award at the MCSA conference in Washington, D.C. this week,” Judd said. ” I served with Sheriff Hutchens on the MCSA board. She was a consummate professional and she is dearly missed.”
Established in 1998, The Major County Sheriffs of America is a professional law enforcement association of the 113 largest Sheriff’s Offices representing counties or parishes with 500,000 population or more. They are dedicated to preserving the highest integrity in law enforcement and the elected Office of the Sheriff. Their membership represents over 130 million citizens.
The Major County Sheriffs of America is a united and powerful voice of community leaders on issues of public concern through: Sense of Urgency, Communication, Education, Advocacy, and Research.