POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s not easy to surprise the man who’s been in law enforcement for 50 years, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said, referring to Sheriff Grady Judd’s more than five decades of service in law enforcement. But they did just that when they unveiled a special piece of history dating all the way back to Judd’s first month on the job.
“Look what I have,” Judd said in a Facebook video as he posed next to a replica 1972 Ford Galaxie painted with the sheriff’s office’s original colors and insignia.
“This is the design of the patrol car that I first drove when I started to work for the sheriff’s office,” Judd said in the video. “This particular car was manufactured in July of 1972, the month I started to work for the sheriff’s office 50 years ago.”
Judd said his team of deputies surprised him with the car when they were out for a photo shoot Thursday morning. Deputies also gave Judd a plaque signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recognizing his 50 years of service to the community.
“I love Polk County, I love the people,” Judd said. “Being the sheriff, and being able to serve you is important. But my goodness I’ve got to tell you, I thought this was a cool patrol car then, I think it’s an even cooler patrol car now,” Judd said with a big smile on his face.
The sheriff’s office added, “No worries, taxpayers’ dollars were NOT used.”