The 2016 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year: Detective Justin Starr
Detective Justin Starr has been employed with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 6 years. He quickly moved into investigations after 2 years in patrol. Detective Starr has been assigned to the Crime Suppression Team and Tactical Drug Unit before his recent transfer to the Polk County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Unit in 2013. While working long hours and raising a family, Detective Starr also completed his 4 year degree in Criminal Justice.
Over the past year, Detective Starr has become an instrumental part of the HIDTA Unit and is responsible for more drug seizures than any other unit member. He has mastered the art of cultivating informant sources and puts them to good use, while always maintaining the upmost integrity and professionalism.
In February 2015, Detective Starr was instrumental in dismantling a drug trafficking organization responsible for the distribution of methamphetamines in the Bartow area. He developed probable cause for a search warrant and arrested two subjects and seized approximately 1.5 pounds of meth, $24,000 in cash, numerous prescription pills, firearms, and a 1979 Trans Am in mint condition. Based on the cooperation of the two defendants, information led to the arrest of four additional subjects while recovering approximately three more pounds of methamphetamine. In total during this investigation, 5.5 pounds of meth were taken off the streets.
Detective Starr’s outstanding investigative ability and his keen investigative skills have contributed to the success of the HIDTA Task Force and the Narcotics Investigations Section of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. During 2015, he had a total of 29 arrests, seized 16 grams of cocaine, 3.6 grams of cannabis and 17,478 grams (39 pounds) of methamphetamine, totaling approximately $1.7 million in street value. He also recovered $162,711 in drug currency.
Detective Starr is definitely committed to making Polk County a safer place to work, live and play.
- Submitted by Sheriff Grady Judd, Polk County Sheriff's Office
Detective Starr's image has been withheld at his request due to his continuing undercover activities.