The many sides of Polk Sheriff Grady Judd - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

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>>

  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Back to School: Tips for affordable 'Teacher's wish lists'

    Back to School: Tips for affordable 'Teacher's wish lists'

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:47:24 GMT
    File Photo: Wikimedia CommonsFile Photo: Wikimedia Commons
    If you received one of those last minute "Teacher's Wish List" for back to school supplies, there are ways to fill it without breaking the bank.Mommy blogger and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Laura Byrne recommends shopping with other parents at a warehouse store...
    If you received one of those last minute "Teacher's Wish List" for back to school supplies, there are ways to fill it without breaking the bank.Mommy blogger and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Laura Byrne recommends shopping with other parents at a warehouse store...
  • Baycare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday

    Baycare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:36:08 GMT
    The annual BayCare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday, Aug. 9 starting at 8 a.m.This year, the topic is about keeping young athletes on the playing field and in the game.The keynote speaker is David Epstein, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of the acclaimed book, The Sports Gene.
    The annual BayCare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday, Aug. 9 starting at 8 a.m.This year, the topic is about keeping young athletes on the playing field and in the game.The keynote speaker is David Epstein, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of the acclaimed book, The Sports Gene.
  • Shots fired at Pinellas Park officer, K9

    Shots fired at Pinellas Park officer, K9

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:22 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:22:20 GMT
    Pinellas Park Police K9 Nyko. PPPD photoPinellas Park Police K9 Nyko. PPPD photo
    A Pinellas Park Police officer and his K9 partner were shot at while responding to a disturbance call on Thursday evening. The officer and the dog were not hurt during the incident. 
    A Pinellas Park Police officer and his K9 partner were shot at while responding to a disturbance call on Thursday evening. The officer and the dog were not hurt during the incident. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gator comes to front door in Coral Springs home

    Gator comes to front door in Coral Springs home

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:17 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:17:15 GMT
    A couple in Coral Springs thought a raccoon was making noise at their front door but when they came out they found a large alligator there, WPLG reported. The alligator was about 9 feet long, according to the WPLG story.
    A couple in Coral Springs thought a raccoon was making noise at their front door but when they came out they found a large alligator there, WPLG reported. The alligator was about 9 feet long, according to the WPLG story.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:37:45 GMT
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

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