The many sides of Polk Sheriff Grady Judd - WNCN: News, Weather

The many sides of Polk Sheriff Grady Judd

Posted: Updated:
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

If you're a regular news watcher, you have doubtless seen a lot of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

He is not camera shy, and is never afraid to tell you exactly the way he sees things.

He would tell you he's a little more Matt Dillon than his Wyatt Earp "Tombstone" image.  And he's a little more creative than his perfectly startched uniform might suggest. 

"I wanted to be the sheriff since I was an itty bitty guy," Judd said.

His roots in Polk County are deep. He grew up on Combie Road, a place where he told the neighborhood kids about his future.

"I'm going to be the sheriff one day, they'd say, oh they're not going to let somebody from Combie Road be sheriff," he said.

It was a passion that he put into play as a teenager, riding along with paramedics as an EMT.

"I delivered my first baby, can you believe that?" said Judd.

That excitement and adrenaline rush is still what wakes him up before the alarm goes off most days. When big stories break, Sheriff Judd is right in the middle of it.

When deputies fired dozens of rounds at a man who had killed one of their own, the sheriff was asked why deputies shot the suspect sixty eight times. 

Judd replied, "Because we ran out of bullets."  His response got the attention of the nation.

He also claims to be cheap.  Saving money is his top priority.  He even decided inmates would no longer be supplied with free underwear.

"For those who want underwear, they buy underwear. For those who don't, they can let the breeze blow up one leg and down the other," Judd explained.

The move saved the jail almost $50,000.  When Judd decided the days of "free" lunch were over, he ended up saving another $200,000.

"If you want to have peanut butter and jelly, and have sodas to drink and coffee with your breakfast and real eggs instead of egg patties - stay out of jail," Judd said.

He practices what he professes. In his office, simple photos adore his walls in lieu of expensive artwork.

Outside of the office, Judd and his wife of 40 years, Marissa, spend their time on the beautiful lakes of Polk County. In many ways it is a sanctuary for them.  Sheriff Judd has even developed a passion for taking pictures of the wildlife in his free time.

Grady and Marissa met when they were 17, and married a year later. They have depended on each other ever since.

"I'm in charge of the sheriff's office. She's in charge of everything else," said Judd.

Small in stature, but no shrinking violet, Marissa runs the business of their lives. She has no patience for being bossed around, even by the sheriff.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @wflatampa

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:55:30 GMT
    Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-04-22 08:01:42 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:34:15 GMT
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
  • NewsMore>>

  • More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

    More powerful sonar likely next step in jet search

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:14 AM EDT2014-04-23 09:14:33 GMT
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring...
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring in more...
  • TRAFFIC: Fatal crash on NB I-275 near Sligh Avenue

    TRAFFIC: Fatal crash on NB I-275 near Sligh Avenue

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:21 AM EDT2014-04-23 08:21:29 GMT
    The crash scene on NB I-275The crash scene on NB I-275
    Northbound Interstate 275 is shut down at East Sligh Avenue in Tampa Wednesday morning after a single car crash with a fatality, according to traffic officials.
    Northbound Interstate 275 is shut down at East Sligh Avenue in Tampa Wednesday morning after a single car crash with a fatality, according to traffic officials.
  • Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:54 AM EDT2014-04-23 07:54:07 GMT
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-04-22 08:01:42 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Hope the dog: Burns are 90% healed

    Hope the dog: Burns are 90% healed

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:07:14 GMT
    Hope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photoHope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photo
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.