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Polk County Sheriff's Office Powers Up with AI: Launches Futuristic Crime-Fighting Lab

Polk County Sheriff's Office Powers Up with AI

Polk County Sheriff's Office Powers Up with AI


Polk County Sheriff's Office Powers Up with AI


LAKELAND, FL – Look out Batman, there is a new Sheriff in town, Sheriff Grady Judd.  In a groundbreaking move, the Polk County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) has established a new Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, designed to address the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging AI technologies. Announced on June 8, 2024, this initiative is supported by Florida Polytechnic University, which will provide professional and technical expertise.

“Modern law enforcement needs to stay ahead of the technological curve when it comes to preventing, fighting, and solving crime. With the incredible upside potential benefits of artificial intelligence, there is a downside: criminals will use the technology to commit crime. This is not only an ‘investigative unit’—It is a holistic unit dedicated to visioning, discovery, and creativity. Its purpose is to use what we learn to keep the community safe. We are proud to partner with Florida Polytechnic to benefit from their renowned expertise and human talent to help fight crime.” –Grady Judd, Sheriff

The newly created AI Investigation Unit aims to identify and leverage emerging AI technologies while combating their misuse. It will offer ongoing updates on AI trends to law enforcement leadership and propose legislation and policy to prevent AI-related crimes.


Watch the Press Conference here:

Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office


Dr. Randy Avent, president of Florida Polytechnic University, emphasized the strategic alignment of this partnership with the university's mission. “This working partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a natural fit for our mission to serve students and industry through excellence in education, discovery, and application of engineering and applied sciences," he stated.

Among the specific objectives of the PCSO AI Investigation Unit are:


  • Developing solutions with next-generation intellects from Florida Polytechnic University.

  • Maintaining cutting-edge training and tools to help identify and combat AI-related crime.

  • Assisting in criminal investigations involving AI, including cyber harassment, identity theft, and extortion.

  • Systematically vetting new AI investigative software for law enforcement use.

  • Staying abreast of developing AI trends and techniques used by threat actors.

  • Identifying and analyzing deep fake and AI-altered media to prevent public misinformation.


The partnership will also enable Florida Poly student interns to gain invaluable real-world experience by working alongside law enforcement professionals to provide advanced technological solutions.

“This working partnership with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is a natural fit for our mission to serve students and industry through excellence in education, discovery, and application of engineering and applied sciences,” Avent said. “We strive to find real-life applications to bring value to our students’ education and value to our community. This is one more way that we are leaders in building Florida's technology-based economy.”

This collaboration marks a significant step forward in integrating advanced technology into public safety frameworks, potentially setting a precedent for law enforcement agencies nationwide. The PCSO AI Investigation Unit is not just a response to the challenges posed by AI but an anticipation of the future landscape of crime and prevention.


Polk County Sheriff's Office Powers Up with AI


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