Sheriff’s office: Polk detective lied on records, forged signature

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A sheriff’s office detective found himself on the other side of the law and stands accused of lying and forgery on official records.

“I’m hopping around like my feet are on fire and they’re not,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.

Dennis Jones Jr., 31, was arrested this week, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. He joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2013 and became a detective in 2017.

People involved in two separate cases came forward to dispute things Jones wrote in reports this summer.

Jones wrote in a report that he traveled to Kissimmee to talk to a father whose child was involved in an investigation, according to his arrest affidavit.

He said he met with the father, who signed a waiver form.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was told the parents said they never signed a waiver form, had never met with Detective Jones and, in fact, had moved to a different residence before Jones was said to have visited them.

“He even went to the point of accessing public records and taking the gentleman’s signature and superimposing it on a waiver of prosecution,” said Sheriff Judd.

Detective Jones is also accused of falsifying records in a case where a day care worker was accused of improperly disciplining a student.

Both these cases are being investigated again, according to Sheriff Judd.

“Why after six years of employment he did this? We have absolutely no idea,” said Sheriff Judd. “We’re going to go back and audit every piece of work that he’s done as a detective. If he’s done this again, he’ll be charged with another felony.”

It is unlikely Jones was involved in high-profile cases due to his experience level, Sheriff Judd said.

Jones is facing two counts of public servant falsifying official records, one count of forgery and one count of uttering false instrument.

He was released on bond.

“I applaud the two separate families that came forward to us and trusted us to complete the investigation and do it the right way. I thank them,” said Sheriff Judd.

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