Sheriff Grady Judd is the sheriff of the county I live in. He is a nationally well-known sheriff who is probably most well known for the comment made to Fox News when a day long man-hunt for a criminal who shot and killed K9 Officer, Deputy Matt Williams and his partner Diogi, ended in a barrage of gun fire on September 28, 2006. The reporter asked Sheriff Judd, “…why did you shoot the suspect 68 times?” Sheriff Judd replied, “Because we ran out of bullets.”
I first met Sheriff Judd in person when I competed in a sporting clays fundraiser in 2010 for the Polk County Builders Association. I showed up just to compete as an individual when the range owner had told me that Sheriff Judd had been asked to come and do the trophy presentation. The Sheriff is someone I’ve always admired and the thought of getting to meet him and have him sign my illustrious hat was enough to get me to compete that day. The sheriff’s sporting clays team was there competing as well. I was squadded with a group of older men as usual and then ended up winning the youth, the open and the HOA.
This event is where I met the Sheriff’s shooting team. I had shot against them in several competitions through out 2010, but never had the opportunity to meet and really speak with them. Captain Kevin Widner and Captain Larry Williams quickly became people whom I deeply respect and I was honored when they asked me to be on their team the following week at the Sheriff Gee’s Shoot Out in Hillsborough County. Since then I was invited to shoot on their team for the 2011 Sheriff Judd’s Bustin’ Clays event to raise money for fallen officers’ families, then again at the 2011 Sheriff Gee’s Shoot Out and now again this year and Sheriff Judd’s event which will take place this Saturday, March 3, 2012.
Proceeds of this event go to assist the families of fallen officers of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Even if you’re not a competitive shooter, buying raffle tickets for the drawings or making a donation would be deeply appreciated for this great and worthy cause!
On a side note: Captain Widner officially retired this year and in my opinion the sheriff’s office loses a great officer and honorable man. He’s gone out of his way to make sure a 13, then 14 and now 15 year old kid was acknowledged and made to feel part of well respected and incredible team. It’s allowed me to have time to have conversations with officers of the law to know more of what I would like to do and dedicate my life to. It’s been a great honor to compete along side them and I deeply appreciate them always treating me as an equal.
Mad respect to the competitive shooting team of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office!