Chief of Police
James R. Elensky began his law enforcement career in January 1988 with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In August 1988, he was hired by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office where he served 25 years. In March 2017, he was given the honor of joining our Haines City team as the Deputy Chief and in October 2017, he was privileged to be selected as our Chief of Police.
During his tenure at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Elensky served in patrol and as a Community Oriented Policing (COPs) deputy. As a Sergeant, Elensky once again supervised in patrol, a COPs component, and in Criminal Investigations. When he was promoted to Lieutenant, Elensky earned the command of a patrol component, and subsequently Criminal Investigations, Traffic Homicide, COPs and Community Service Officers for the Central District Command. Sheriff Grady Judd promoted Elensky to Captain and asked him to lead the Bureau of Criminal Investigations that has responsibility for investigating all major crime in the county including Homicide, Robbery and the Special Victim’s Unit that investigates crimes against children, crimes against the elderly, sex crimes and Department of Children and Families criminal investigations. Surrounded by a great team, Elensky led the effort to achieve a remarkable milestone of 100% clearance for murder investigations.
Elensky holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a master’s degree in management from Warner University. Elensky is a graduate of the prestigious Florida State University Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. Elensky is a licensed commercial pilot. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the state and Polk County Chapters. Elensky was recruited and selected to serve as a member of the Criminal Justice Reform committee Organized through U.S. Representative Darren Soto’s office.
As Chief, Elensky has implemented a community-minded approach that identifies issues, collects data, sets goals, introduces new interventions and evaluates the results. His intelligence-led policing strategy which emphasizes identifying crime "hot spots" and relentless follow-up helped Haines City hit an all-time low in total crime rate in 2019, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Uniform Crime Report.
Deputy Chief of Police
Loyd Stewart was honored to join the Haines City Police Department as Deputy Chief of Police in February 2020, after nearly 30 years of law enforcement service with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. As Deputy Chief of Police, he is responsible for all daily operations to include mentoring and guiding members of the Police Department, community relations, and fiscal management.
During Stewart’s time at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, he served in several capacities to include Patrol, the Traffic Unit, COPs and Criminal Investigations as a Deputy Sheriff/Detective. As a Sergeant, he worked Patrol and Criminal Investigations where he returned to both as a Lieutenant and led the Animal Control Section. As a Captain, Stewart was responsible for the Central District command and later, led the process of standing up a new component, Safe Schools, where he was subsequently promoted to Major. As Major and head of the Safe Schools Division, he was responsible for the safety and security of more than 130,000 students, faculty and staff as well as nearly 160 educational facilities including those for Polk County Public Schools, Polk State College and Southeastern University.
Loyd Stewart’s extensive educational and training background includes a master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy University. He is also a graduate of Warner University, Polk State College, the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute - Police Executive Leadership Graduate Program, the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police - Leadership in Police Organizations, and the Florida State University Certified Public Manager program.
Captain Garcia has been with the Haines City Police Department since 2007. He has worked in the Criminal Investigation Division as a Detective and Detective Sergeant; has served the Patrol Division as Corporal, Sergeant, and Lieutenant.
As Captain, he has operational responsibility for the Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Code Compliance, and Records. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Polk State College and is a graduate of the Tri-City Leadership Academy, Florida Executive Development Seminar, and FBI-LEEDA Supervisor, Command, and Executive Leadership Institute.
Criminal Investigations Division
The Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division is Lieutenant Jay Hopwood, who oversees Criminal Investigations, the Crime Scene Unit, Traffic Unit, K9 Unit and the Property & Evidence Technician Section.
The Haines City Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is assigned to investigate all types of crimes, such as homicides, fraud, burglaries, thefts, aggravated battery, DCF cases, and sex crimes. The members of CID are required to attend mandated specialized training classes to ensure on-going professional development.
The Crime Scene Unit collects and processes evidence, provides analysis of criminal activity and assists detectives and officers during investigations.
Property & Evidence is responsible for the receipt, recording, storage, retrieval and destruction of all property and evidence that is collected by the Police Department.
A law enforcement officer since 1984, Lieutenant Hopwood has served as patrol officer, undercover drug investigator, and detective. Lieutenant Hopwood has been a member of the Haines City Police Department since 2002 and Lieutenant since 2009. He has served stints in both Lieutenant positions with responsibility over Patrol and now, CID. Lieutenant Hopwood also volunteered to serve as Acting Police Chief during the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The Patrol Division is commanded by Lieutenant Isaac Jackson. The Patrol Division consists of four patrol shifts and school resource officers. Members of the Patrol Division are the most visible members of the department. Committed to the Community Policing philosophy, the Uniform Patrol Division of the Haines City Police Department provides public safety services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and responds to emergency and non-emergency calls for service. The Patrol Division annually responds to more than 10,000 calls for service.
Lieutenant Jackson has served the Haines City Police Department since 2007. He worked with the Community Oriented Policing (COPs) Unit as an Officer, Corporal and Sergeant. He also served the Patrol Division as a Corporal and Sergeant. Lieutenant Jackson also served the Haines City Police Department as the lead trainer and Training Coordinator. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the historical Bethune-Cookman University, and a master’s degree from St. Leo University. He is a graduate of the Tri-City Leadership Academy, and the Florida State University’s Certified Public Manager (CPM) program.