New Polk State KCTIPS director hits ground running

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

In less than three months on the job as Director of the Polk State College Kenneth C. Thompson Institute for Public Safety (KCTIPS), Capt. Shawn Hoobin has hit the ground running.

In his role since January, Hoobin has overseen two KCTIPS graduations and a National Public Safety Innovation Academy (NIA) graduation, and recently traveled to Alabama to receive the institute’s reaccreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Hoobin is happy to be a part of it.

“The personnel at Polk State have been outstanding and incredibly helpful,” Hoobin said. “My focus here at KCTIPS is to help us advance and make a great program even better, to continue to innovate, and produce the recruits that everyone wants.”

A 22-year veteran of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Hoobin has spent the last 16 years as a supervisor. The opportunity to come to KCTIPS provides a new challenge.

“Most of my career has been in investigations,” he noted. “I saw this as an opportunity to expand myself. Working with young people just coming into the profession, their enthusiasm has been refreshing and is really exciting to see.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure we have highly skilled recruits who want to be good law enforcement officers,” Hoobin added. “We want them to have a sense of urgency but to provide the highest level of customer service. Having both of those things is really important.”

First promoted to sergeant in 2008, Hoobin is proud of his law enforcement career. Hoobin ascended to lieutenant in 2014 and has served as captain since 2019.

“I’m proud that I’ve been able to advance through the ranks,” Hoobin explained. “I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, but I’m proud of what the agency has accomplished itself. What we’ve become under the leadership of Sheriff (Grady) Judd is incredible.”

During his short time in the director role, Hoobin said the collaboration has stood out. That includes the partnership between Polk State and the Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s a great relationship,” Hoobin said. “Sheriff Judd and (Polk State President) Dr. (Angela Garcia) Falconetti have a great working relationship and a tremendous amount of respect for one another. That trickles down to everyone at the two entities.”

Raised in Lake Alfred, Hoobin spent most of his childhood in Polk County. After graduating from Auburndale High School, Hoobin attended Florida State University with the goal of eventually attending law school. Hoobin soon realized that his passion was instead for law enforcement.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” he said. “Something kept pulling me toward law enforcement.”

Hoobin ultimately earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2008. Two years later, he received his master’s from USF in criminal justice administration.

Although all 22 years of his law enforcement career has been with the Sheriff’s Office, Hoobin has collaborated with members of agencies from across the area during his career. He noted that those agencies expect the highest level of training from KCTIPs graduates.

“We work with so many different law enforcement agencies,” Hoobin said. “Law enforcement is more than a job – it’s a profession and we expect the best. Our facility is top notch. It’s a great resource and a top-of-the-line training area. A lot of them don’t know what to expect when they first come in, so I really enjoy getting to watch the recruits learn and grow.”

When he’s not on the job, Hoobin enjoys playing golf and traveling. Most of all, he’s a family man. Hoobin and his wife of 25 years, Allison, have two adult children – a son, Kyle, and a daughter, Kaitlyn. Throughout his career, they’ve been his biggest support base.

“You absolutely have to have the support of your family for this profession,” Hoobin noted. “They’re the most important force that will keep you going throughout your career. That’s my advice to recruits and to remain humble and always remember why you’re here – to serve your community and provide excellent customer service.”