Richard Holland Jr.

Chief of Police

Richard A. Holland is a career law-enforcement officer who brings expertise in investigations, mentorship, security operations and policymaking to his new role as police chief at Florida Polytechnic University.

He has experience and training in hurricane response and emergency preparedness, crisis intervention, hazardous materials, advanced tactical leadership and crime scene procedures.

Holland previously worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years and has over 33 years of experience. Most recently, he served as the East Division Southeast District Commander, where he oversaw four patrol platoons, an investigative unit and a tactical street crimes unit focused on crime analyses. From 2011-2013, he was captain for the Bureau of Special Investigations, which targeted illegal drug operations, organized crime, computer crimes and identity theft, among other illegal activities. His other posts at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office included tactical operations commander, captain in the Bureau of Support Operations, training section lieutenant and patrol lieutenant.

He has worked as an adjunct professor at Polk State College since 2010, teaching Criminology courses. He has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University in Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in Criminology from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida. He earned his associate’s degree in Criminology from Polk Community College. He is certified as a public manager, a designation he received from Florida State University in Tallahassee. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute Administrative Officer Course at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.

Holland has been recognized as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the State of Florida Veterans of Foreign Wars (2006). He has been awarded the Medal of Honor, meritorious medals and Sheriff’s commendations by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

His memberships in community and civic organizations include the National Sheriff’s Association, Florida Sheriff’s Association, the Southern Police Institute Alumni Association, the National Tactical Officers Association and the Florida SWAT Association.