County Attorney Polk personally prosecuted State v. McJunkin, a brutal sexual assault of a widow who was raped in her Cottonwood home by a 37-year old man. She convicted this dangerous criminal on all counts and he was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life.
Sheila never knew his motive for the rape until one day, in 2006, she received a letter from him in prison where he wrote: “I was all messed up on meth when I did this horrible thing. I can tell you with all honesty that I would of (sic) never done what I did while straight. I made the choice to use the drugs and as a result a total innocent lady was badly hurt and I’m so sorry.”
At that moment, County Attorney Polk resolved to use her position to do more than prosecute crimes to bring justice to victims and communities. She resolved to gather all community members together to launch an effort to fight meth and other drug use, and thereby prevent crime.
County Attorney Polk is a founding member and chair of MATFORCE, the county’s nationally acclaimed substance abuse coalition. Today, she and MATFORCE are statewide leaders in county prevention efforts, drug education in our schools, and collaborations to keep our streets safe. County Attorney Polk has chaired MATFORCE for more than 13 years. The MATFORCE Board of Directors exemplifies Polk’s collaborative style, consisting of the CEO of Spectrum Healthcare Group, the Executive Director of Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Chief Yavapai County Juvenile Probation Officer, the Chief Yavapai County Adult Probation Officer, a community doctor and community preventionist, the Director for the Yavapai County Community Health Services, the CEO for West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, and the Yavapai County Schools Superintendent.
For more information about MATFORCE, please visit: http://www.matforce.org/
In 2018, County Attorney Polk and MATFORCE were presented by Arizona HIDTA with the Outstanding Prevention Award for collaborative efforts to address the opioid crisis. In 2015, County Attorney Polk and MATFORCE were presented the Arizonans for Prevention Kris Bell Service Award for Outstanding Prevention Services. Also in 2015, the Exemplary Award was presented to MATFORCE from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors. In 2014, MATFORCE was recognized as the national CADCA Coalition of the Year.
In 2009, MATFORCE was awarded the national CADCA Coalition of Excellence.