Bartow Police Department

The Bartow Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency located at 450 N Broadway Avenue in Bartow, FL. The headquarters of the Bartow Police Department is located directly across the street from the courthouse.

Since his appointment on July 13, 2009, Joe Hall served as the Chief of Police for the Bartow Police Department. Earlier this year, he abruptly resigned in a letter that indicated his last day would be May 29, 2020.

Prior to Chief Joe Hall, the interim chief in 2008 was David Brooks. Larry G. Williams, Jr. served as the interim director in 2007. Before that, Erik Sandvik served as the chief from 1997 to 1998.

The mission statement of the Bartow Police Department is to “provide a professional service in an effort to prevent crime, reduce fear, and enforce the law.” The vision statement of the BPD is to “provide a peaceful and safe community where citizens and visitors experience hometown values as well as a superior quality of life.”

In addition to making arrests, officers with the Bartow Police Department seize money, vehicles, and other valuable property for criminal and civil asset forfeiture proceedings.

Attorney for an Arrest by the Police in Bartow, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients being investigated by the Bartow Police Department. Criminal investigations often begin with a patrol officer taking the initial report before handing the case over to a detective who is responsible for follow-up on all felony crimes and narcotic investigations.

If you are the target of a criminal investigation, instead of making a statement to any officer or detective with the Bartow Police Department, you might be better off seeking out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm are experienced in fighting both felony and misdemeanor charges in Polk County, FL. Contact us to discuss your case.

Call 813-250-0500.

Notice of Seizure of Property for Forfeiture in Bartow, FL

The Bartow Police Department might issue a notice of seizure that advises you that the agency seized money, a vehicle, or other valuable property pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Action, Section 932.701, Florida Statutes (2018). The notice form is listed as BPD-044 (Revised 5/2020).

The purpose of the notice is to advise you of your right to demand a post-seizure adversarial preliminary hearing (APH). The purpose of the hearing is so that the Circuit Court Judge can order the return of the property if the Bartow Police Department is unable to show probable cause that the property was used in the commission of any felony.

To request an adversarial preliminary hearing to contest the seizure for forfeiture, your demand must be submitted in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested to the address listed in the notice which might be: Bartow Police Department, 450 N. Broadway Avenue, Bartow, FL 33839. The demand must be delivered (in their hand) within 15 days of the date you receive the notice.

After you make the request for the adversarial preliminary hearing, the attorney for the Bartow Police Department must set a hearing within 10 days. 

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you file the demand for an adversarial preliminary hearing and attend the hearing with you. Your attorney can also negotiate with the attorney for the Bartow Police Department for the return of the property.

Your attorney can also help you obtain a copy of any documents related to the case. For instance, officers with the Bartow Police Department are trained to fill out a special worksheet if they seize any property for forfeiture. The Forfeiture Checklist is listed at BPD FORM 043 (Effective08/2013). The checklist provides the following information:

  • Case Number
  • Date of Seizure
  • Name and ID# of the Investigator
  • FCIC/NCIC check
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Vehicle Lien (_ Yes or _ No)
  • Is the arrestee the sole owner? (_ Yes or _ No)
  • Other owners and addresses:
  • Statement of guilty knowledge by other owners.
  • Post Seizure Adver. Prelim. Hearing Notice (White copy to owner)
  • 35mm photographs/video
  • Confiscated Auto Assessment Sheet
  • Confiscated Property Sheet
  • Confiscated Cash Record (At least 2 officers counting)
  • Seized Property Condition Sheet
  • Inventory/Tow/Property Sheet (drive or utilize City wrecker)
  • Statements from victims/witnesses/arrestees
  • Criminal histories (If none submit TTY showing no history)
  • Offense report
  • All supplemental reports
  • Probable Cause affidavits on each arrestee
  • PCSO Booking Sheet/Booking Photo/Fingerprints of All Arrestees
  • Supervisor Approval
  • Other documentation deemed relevant

If the Bartow Police Department confiscated cash for forfeiture, then the officers are trained to fill out a report entitled “Confiscated Cash Record” listed in BPD Form 043(B) (Effective 08/2013). The form provides: 

Bartow Police Department – Confiscated Cash Record

  • Date:
  • O.R. No.: 
  • Narrative Section:
    • On ____ (date) ____ at ____ (place) ____, I was present when the confiscated cash in the above-referenced case was officially counted. Also present was/were_____(police and bank officials) ____.
    • The total amount of cash counted was ____. The amount consisted of the following denominations: ____.
    • Following the counting, the money was placed in ______ (safe deposit box, interest-bearing account, etc.) ____.

When the Bartow Police Department seizes a vehicle, it is also required to complete a “Confiscated Auto Assessment” worksheet (known as BPD Form 043D (Effective 08/2013) that documents the condition of the vehicle. 

Finally, the Bartow Police Department uses a form entitled “Confiscated Property (Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act)” BPD FORM 043C. This form requires the seizing officer with the Bartow Police Department to describe in detail how the property was used or intended to be used in the commission of the offense. 

Contact Information:

Joe Hall, Chief of Police
Bartow Police Department
450 N. Broadway Ave.
Bartow, FL 33830
Non-emergency phone number: 863-534-5034

Divisions and Units of the Bartow Police Department

The Bartow Police Department has the following divisions and units:

  • Patrol Officers
  • Detectives
  • Crime Scene Investigators
  • K-9 Officers
  • Public Safety Aides
  • Victim Advocate
  • Community Services
  • School Resource Officers
  • Crime Analyst
  • Police Explorers Program
  • Neighborhood Watch Program
  • Communications Center that dispatches for both police and fire

The Records Division of BPD is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Records Division also handles any public record request for the department.

History of the Bartow Police Department

The history of the Bartow Police Department can be traced back to more than 100 years ago when the first town Marshal of Bartow was chosen. C.C. Gresham was elected the first town Marshal on July 1, 1882, when the town of Bartow was incorporated.

The Bartow Police Department began as a one-man, 15-hour-a-day department. Today, it has grown to a staff of more than 40 sworn and 25 non-sworn personnel who provide Law Enforcement services to the citizens of Bartow.

With a population of more than 600,000, Bartow serves as the county seat in Polk County.

Additional Resources

Official Facebook Page of Bartow Police Department – The Bartow Police Department is located across from the courthouse in the Historic City of Bartow. With a small-town atmosphere, it serves as Polk County’s county seat thriving with beautiful oak trees and azaleas.

This article was last updated on Monday, May 16, 2022.