LAKELAND — His full-time job, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office says, is working in the day as a home health care nurse for Pro-Med and Bay Care. He also works at St. Joseph’s Hospital, providing additional care for patients.
At the same time, he was attending an evening law enforcement academy, with the aim of becoming a certified law enforcement officer.
His resume caught the attention of the sheriff’s office, and Jeffrey Musser appeared to be on his way to a successful career change, since he was working as a volunteer reserve deputy sheriff in Polk County.
That is, until he was arrested on Monday.
According to the sheriff’s office, Musser, 46, of Lakeland, used his position as a volunteer law enforcement officer to illegally identify a particular woman, obtain her personal information — including her address — through the law enforcement database system. At that point, the sheriff’s office says, he then started following her.
This would go on for nearly a month, noted Carrie Eleazor, the public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the arrest.
“Over a period of 19 days, Musser intentionally made unwanted contact with the victim on at least three separate occasions, putting the victim in fear for her safety and causing her emotional stress,” Eleazor noted.
The victim contacted the sheriff’s office, which began investigating Musser’s behavior.
On July 23, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Musser, who quickly resigned from his volunteer status as a reserve deputy.
If he had not automatically resigned, Eleazor said, he “would have been terminated.”
Musser was charged him with one count of stalking.
When deputies interviewed Musser, Eleazor said, the suspect admitted that he had used his access to the confidential driver’s license database to find out the victim’s personal information.
He also admitted to going to her home to speak to her.
“He was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail,” Eleazor noted. “He is being held on no bond pending a first appearance hearing.”
It’s illegal for law enforcement personnel to use the database system for personal reasons, and Eleazor said the stalking charge won’t be the only one that Musser faces.
“Further charges are pending investigation into his misuse of official databases,” she noted.
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