PBSO Col. Joseph Bradshaw-
Receives Florida Bar Government Lawyer Award

John SlyeColonel Joseph A. Bradshaw, Jr., the Director of Legal Affairs for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, is the recipient of the 2013 Florida Bar Claude Pepper Outstanding Government Lawyer Award. The award recognizes an outstanding Florida lawyer who has made exemplary contributions as a practicing government lawyer. It is named after the Honorable Claude Pepper, a Florida attorney, United States Senator, and United States Congressman, who was an advocate on behalf of the people, and who represented the highest ideals of government service through twelve Presidential administrations.

As Director of the Department of Legal Affairs, Col. Bradshaw reports directly to Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric L. Bradshaw, who enthusiastically endorsed Col. Bradshaw for this prestigious award. Sheriff Bradshaw stressed the importance of legal counsel to a Sheriff, especially in increasingly complicated times with increasingly advanced technologies. “Law enforcement plays a crucial and powerful role in society and Colonel Bradshaw’s advice has been invaluable in helping to guide PBSO towards the right course of action and to ensure the protection of our citizens’ constitutional rights,” said Sheriff Bradshaw.

Col. Joseph Bradshaw has been a Deputy Sheriff with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for more than 27 years. Prior to joining the Sheriff’s Office, Col. Bradshaw was a road patrol police officer and detective with a municipality in Broward County for four years, then left that position to attend law school at Pace University. After graduating from law school in 1983, Col. Bradshaw spent 2-1/2 years as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, spending the majority of his time prosecuting child abuse cases.

Col. Bradshaw began his career with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office first as a road patrol deputy, then Investigator, then as Public Information Officer. He eventually became the first full-time in-house Legal Advisor for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, appointed by then-Sheriff Richard Wille in 1990.

Col. Bradshaw and his department provide legal advice to the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Office, an organization with more than 4,000 employees. His department oversees and manages all of the litigation involving the Sheriff’s office, and provides advice on criminal law and procedure, employment and labor law, civil liability, forfeiture law, contracts, and departmental policy.

Col. Bradshaw has been a member of the Florida Association of Police Attorneys for more than 20 years and served as its President for an unprecedented three terms, from 1994 to 1997. He is a member of the Legal Officer’s Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and in 2009 achieved Life Membership in IACP. He is a member of the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) and was appointed by NSA President, Sheriff B.J. Roberts, as a member of the Legal Affairs Committee for the 2010-2011 term.

Col. Bradshaw received his award from President Gwynne Young at the General Assembly of the Annual Convention of The Florida Bar in Boca Raton. Florida Bar Government Lawyer Section Chair Diana Bock and Claude Pepper Award Chair Morgan Rood introduced Col. Bradshaw to the section’s executive council at the annual convention.