About Us

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has two LGBTQ Liaisons dedicated to working with the community and our business partners.

Mission

The Mission of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office LGBTQ Liaison program will be to continuously strive to promote awareness of LGBTQ issues while working to evoke change in the perceptions and treatment of LGBTQ persons and to defend the community while preserving the rights and dignity of all.

Some of the duties tasked to these deputies include:

  • Serve as a personal point of contact between the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the LGBTQ Community.
  • Coordinate with and provide a forum for local law enforcement agencies, schools, business owners, community groups and individuals of the LGBTQ community regarding relevant law enforcement issues.
  • Attend LGBTQ functions and community events as a representative of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Serve as a resource to families with questions or guidance towards LGBTQ support services for the LGBTQ community and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office employees.

Meet Your Liaisons

 

Leonette Garfield, Law Enforcement Lieutenant

image of Leonette Garfield

HCSO / LGBTQ Liaison

Lt. Garfield began her career in 1993 and became a member of the HCSO in November of 1998. In that time, she has held positions as a Deputy, Detective, Street Crimes Corporal and Intelligence Led Policing Sergeant; ultimately rising through the ranks to Lieutenant. In 2015, Lt. Garfield was awarded the Community Service award for her work and dedication to the community. Along with her duties as one of the LGBTQ Liaisons, she is currently the Shift Commander for the District I Night Shift A Platoon.

Michele V. Polk, Law Enforcement Sergeant

image of Michele V. Polk

HCSO / LGBTQ Liaison

Sgt. Polk has been a member of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1999. During her career, she has been a Crisis Negotiator, Field Training Supervisor, Community Resource Deputy, Street Crimes Corporal, Property Crimes Detective and is now the Sergeant over the Civil Process Section of the Court Operations Division.  Sgt. Polk is a proud veteran of the United States Air Force where she served during Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Reporting a Crime

If you are the victim of a crime or a witness to a crime and require law enforcement assistance, please contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8000 or submit an anonymous tip through one of the following options:

Reporting of a Crime to Include LGBTQ Crimes

When on line with the 911 operator, the dispatcher needs quick and concise information, such as:

Your Injuries

Are you in need of medical assistance? The 911 operator will call EMS while speaking with you.

Specifics of the Crime

Provide details of what happened.

What Was Said

Tell the 911 operator and the responding deputy if the suspect(s) used words to indicate a hate crime. 

Was a Weapon Involved?

Describe it as a gun, knife, etc.

Description of Suspects

Age, race, height, weight, and clothing description of the suspect(s).

Any Unusual Characteristics

Scars, marks, tattoos, piercings, speech, etc.

Suspect Vehicle Description

Color, make, model, vehicle license plate.

Direction of Travel

Which way did they flee and how did they get away?

Importance of Reporting Crimes Quickly

Even if you think the crime is insignificant, or you don't want to bother the police over small issues, reporting crimes quickly allows the Sheriff's Office to:

  • Respond immediately to the scene to prevent further harm to you or others.
  • Collect evidence that could be destroyed if not discovered and collected quickly.
  • Interview witnesses who may otherwise be gone if you delay your call to 911.
  • Apprehend the suspect(s) quickly so they do not continue to victimize others.
  • Determine if the suspect(s) are engaged in a pattern of previous and/or ongoing behavior that threatens the community.
  • Increase community awareness of criminal activity in the area through media notification & alerts.
  • Develop solutions and/or deterrents to reduce the crime by adding patrols to the area.

What is Considered a Crime

Someone calling you a derogatory name is not a crime. It is a constitutionally protected free speech. If the comments are accompanied by threats, threatening behavior, or physical harm, it then may rise to the level of a crime.

For detailed information about what a hate crime is visit the Federal Bureau of Investigations Hate Crimes website.

Injunctions / Orders of Protection Services

If in need of services or information about how to obtain an injuction or order of protection visit our Civil Process webpage.