Chris Nelson currently serves as the Chief of Police for the City of Auburndale, a position he has held since 2012. A graduate of Bartow High School, he started his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Bartow Police Department.

After several years at the Bartow Police Department he moved to Live Oak, Florida, where he assisted in reestablishing the Live Oak Police Department serving as the Deputy Chief of Police.

In addition to working for the Live Oak Police Department, Nelson also worked as an investigator and polygraph examiner with the State Attorney’s Office in the Third Judicial Circuit.

In 2007 Chief Nelson was appointed the Deputy Chief of Police for the Auburndale Police Department.  Nelson was later appointed as the Chief of Police in July of 2012.  He has served as an accreditation manager, seeing two separate agencies to a successful accreditation and served as an accessor for CFA.

Chief Nelson received his Associate in Arts degree from Polk State College in 1998, his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from St. Leo University in 2001, a Master of Science in Criminology from Florida State University in 2010, and is a graduate the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Academy – 209th Session.

Chief Nelson serves as a board member of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, Current Board Member and Past-President of the Polk County Police Chiefs Association and a member of the Polk State College Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.

Chief Nelson remains highly involved in the community though his membership in the Auburndale Rotary Club and his involvement as a board member for the Polk County Youth Fair. He is also a graduate of Leadership Polk Class XIII.  He has been recognized as the employee of the year at the Live Oak Police Department, State Attorney’s Office and the Auburndale Police Department.  He was also honored by the Florida Police Chiefs Association with the Directors Choice Award and by Polk State College as the Distinguished Alumnus in 2015.

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