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The Golden Badge Award


The Lakeland Bar Association has given the Golden Badge Award since 2004 to law enforcement officers in recognition of their professional competence, dedication to duty, contribution to law enforcement and the community. 

The award given reads ”Lakeland Bar Association presents the Golden Badge Award in recognition of his or her contribution to law enforcement and community.


 2023 Golden Badge Recipient
Officer Cody Vaughn

Golden Badge Recipients

2004  Lakeland Police Officer Jamie Henderson

2005  No recorded information

2006    Lakeland Police Officer Curtis ‘Buddy Newsome’
and his wife Detective Michele Newsome

   Polk County Deputy Sheriff  Vernon “Matt”
Williams and K-9 DiOGi

 2008  Lakeland Police Sergeant Bob Rist

2009  Polk County Sheriff Carton Turner

2010  Bartow Police Officer Michelle Smith

2011  Polk County Deputy Sheriff  James Harrell

2012   Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin

2013  Polk County Deputy Sheriff Ralph Wilson

2014  Lakeland Police Officer Ted Sealy and  K-9 Bruno

2015   Polk County Detective Christopher Mason

2016 Lakeland Police Officer Whittaker and K-9 Nox

2017 Deputy Sheriff Lee Smith and
Deputy Sheriff Bernardo Del Valle  

2018  Lakeland Police Officer Whittaker and K-9 Nox

2019  Pok County Major Ian Floyd

2020  No award given

2021  Lakeland Police Officer Ryan McLaughlin

2022  Polk County Sheriff Lt. Duane Tompkins

2023 Officer Cody Vaughn



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PO Box 2883 Lakeland, FL 33806

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