Polk County fire captain resigns after drug arrest

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County Fire Rescue captain ended his 26-year career with an arrest and a resignation.

48-year-old Kevin Giliam resigned this morning, according to Polk County Fire Rescue public information officer.

“I enjoyed working for Polk County,” wrote Giliam in his resignation letter.

He was arrested Wednesday for possession of methamphetamines and possession of paraphernalia at his Lakeland home.

“We are saddened that one of our fire captains got arrested,” said Joe Halman Jr., deputy county manager who oversees public safety.

Detectives said they were following up on a tip that drugs were possibly being sold out of Giliam’s home. When they arrived, they met with Giliam and searched his home.

They found a glass pipe with a “dark burned residue” located on the master bathroom countertop, according to the arrest affidavit. The residue tested positive for methamphetamine.

Giliam told detectives he had two roommates who shared their own room.

He said he was out of work due to a back injury, was prescribed medication for the injury and was “unaware the glass pipe was there,” the affidavit reads.

His roommate Jessica Bridges told 8 On Your Side she and Giliam will work to clear his name, starting with a drug test Thursday.

“The bathroom that the substances were found in, is the bathroom, the mainly used bathroom. We have a lot of help because we’re redoing the whole inside of the house. It’s like a mess,” she said.

Neighbors told 8 On Your Side they see a constant flow of cars pulling in and out of the home at all hours.

“Since I’ve been here the last 2-3 years, we have not had any major issues with him. So this comes as a surprise,” said Halman.

Giliam has been on leave for medical reasons since April, Halman said.

Giliam was booked into the Polk County Jail but was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

He was a part of the Polk County Fire Rescue since March 30, 1993.

At one time, Giliam served as battalion chief but took a voluntary demotion in 2009, according to Halman.


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