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Lawrence W. Crow

Distinguished Alumnus May 1984

CrowSheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. is a native of Glen Dale, West Virginia. He graduated from Kathleen High School in 1960 before joining the United States Navy, where he served from 1960 to 1962.

Sheriff Crow started his law enforcement career as a police cadet in 1962 at the Lakeland Police Department. Realizing that higher education was the key to advancement within the department, he enrolled at Polk State in 1967. He was recognized as a Who’s Who in Junior Colleges while at Polk, and graduated with honors with an Associate of Science degree in Police Science in 1971. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Rollins College in Police Administration in 1975.

While working full-time as a police officer and going to Polk, Crow progressed through the ranks in the department. At the age of 37, he was appointed Lakeland Police Chief in 1980 and served for seven years. In 1987, Crow was asked by Governor Bob Martinez to take the job as Sheriff of Polk County. He was subsequently elected and reelected in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 and retired in 2005. At the time of his retirement after 18 years, Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. was the longest serving Sheriff in Polk County history.

A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Sheriff Crow served with distinction as the Chairman of the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches, on the Governor’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Systems Council, and received numerous honors and recognitions. Sheriff Crow was a progressive leader and innovator who tremendously expanded the use of technology and emphasized professional policing techniques and strategies, including his commitment to law enforcement accreditation.

Service to his alma mater included serving many years on the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, including time as committee chair.