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CITY OF LAKELAND TO HOST COMMUNITY MEETING ON GANG ISSUES

CITY OF LAKELAND TO HOST COMMUNITY MEETING ON GANG ISSUES

 

LAKELAND, FL (October 31, 2013) - On Monday, November 18th the City of Lakeland will host a Community Meeting addressing gang related issues. The meeting will take place at the Coleman Busch Building from 6 - 8:30 p.m.  There have been a number of gang related shootings in the last few months and the purpose of the meeting is to identify the steps needed to curb gang membership within the community.

 

Mayor Gow Fields said, “We need to have an approach to identify and reduce the number of individuals who look at gangs as the answer to their problems.  Many of the youth today are migrating to this kind of activity and sadly they recognize gangs as a type of family.” 

 

The Community Meeting will include the following:

·         An overview of gangs by the Lakeland Police Department.  This overview will include the changing gang demographics and membership activity. 

·         Community understanding of what to look for to identify gang behavior.

·         Identifying community resources and understanding positive community based programs.

·         Identify the gaps of what is missing in community programs as well as listing alternatives.

·         Start a plan and dialogue needed to move forward.

Assistant Chief of Police Mike Link said, “In Lakeland we have 260 documented gang members and associates. Right now we have 46 listed gangs.  Nine of those are considered more active and pop-up on our radar much more frequently that the others.”

 

Fields said, “This is a war and we don’t have enough soldiers of good influence on the street.  Hopefully, this meeting will be a start so the community can see the seriousness of the issue.” He added, “We need to work together in solving this problem.”

 

The City of Lakeland asks the community to attend this important meeting as we work toward solutions to curb gang membership and identify resources needed to help reduce gang violence.  For more information on gang activity in Florida, please visit www.floridagangreduction.com

 

 


CITIZENS TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT

PUBLIC NOTICE

 

CITIZENS TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATION

 

 

WHO: Citizens of Lakeland, Lakeland City Commission and City of Lakeland Administration

 

WHAT: Citizens Town Hall - Public Meeting

 

WHY: To Discuss Lakeland Police Department

 

WHEN: Monday, July 22, 2013 at 6 p.m. 

 

WHERE: The Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theater, 701 W Lime St  Lakeland, FL 33815

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2013) – The City of Lakeland will conduct a Citizens Town Hall Public Meeting at The Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theatre on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

The public forum will allow the citizens of Lakeland the opportunity to address their concerns to City Officials about the sexual misconduct investigation that includes several members of the Lakeland Police Department.  A Police Advisory Commission is being formed and input from the Town Hall Meeting will provide additional insight to the panel that is charged with recommending specific actions to improve community trust with the Lakeland Police Department. The Advisory Commission will be co-chaired by Joe P. Ruthven and Polk State College President Eileen Holden.  

 

 


MAYOR FIELDS NAMES 15 MEMBER LAKELAND POLICE ADVISORY COMMISSION

MAYOR FIELDS NAMES 15 MEMBER LAKELAND POLICE ADVISORY COMMISSION

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 15, 2013) - Mayor Gow Fields has named the 15 members of the Lakeland Police Advisory Commission that will be co-chaired by Joe P. Ruthven and Dr. Eileen Holden. 

 

Joe Ruthven is a former Mayor of Lakeland and a successful community businessman for more than 50 years He is the founder and owner of “The Ruthvens” and Joe P. Ruthven Investments. Ruthven has also served as Chairman of the Lakeland Regional Medical Center board and Chairman for the Central Florida Economic Development Council.

 

Dr. Eileen Holden has been the president of Polk State College since 2006.  Polk State serves 20,000 students each year and it is home to Kenneth C. Thompson Institute of Public Safety, one of the few college-affiliated police academies in the nation to earn CALEA accreditation, with excellence.  In additional to a distinguished academic career, Dr. Holden has served in leadership and advisory roles on numerous civic, charitable and economic boards.

 

Members of the Lakeland Police Advisory Commission include:

 

Dr. Anne Kerr - President of Florida Southern College

Dr. Elaine Thompson - CEO Lakeland Regional Health Systems and Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Frank O'Reilly - Former Mayor of Lakeland and Former Polk School Board Member

Katrina Lunsford - Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Ana Rivera - President & CEO, Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Polk County

Dr. Jim Sewell - Retired FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

Tim Jackson - COO, NuJak Development & Chair-Elect, Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce

Rick Garcia - Owner & President, Gulf Coast Avionics

Dr. Kent Ingle - President, Southeastern University

Myra Bryant - President of the Lakeshore Neighborhood Association and President of Lakeland's Neighborhood Association Council

Mary Smith - President of the Dixieland Neighborhood Association

Paul Roberts - AP History and AP Government Teacher at Lakeland Sr. High School and Adjunct Professor at Everest University

Bruce Abels - Logistics & Supply Chain Professional, Retired as President of Saddle Creek Corporation after 15 years

 

Mayor Gow Fields said, “We have assembled an advisory panel of leading Lakeland citizens to review the current situation with LPD and City Hall in light of the State’s Attorney’s report to develop recommendations and benchmarks for making improvements and for holding officials accountable for delivering those improvements.” He added, “The Panel is a diverse group, spanning a range of age, experience, gender, race and political affiliation and I feel confident that they will bring a citizens’ perspective to the issue.”

 

The advisory panel will conduct their business independently from City Administration with full support to meet with any public officials including but not limited to Chief Womack or any other personnel.

 

The Lakeland Police Advisory Commission has been charged to define and answer questions concerning the recent controversies involving the Lakeland Police Department and suggest specific actions that can be taken to improve community trust.  Specific questions to be addressed by the panel include:

·         Does the City and LPD have the appropriate processes in place to address current challenges?

·         What can be done to improve the culture within the LPD?

·         What can be done to improve citizen trust?                                                                                                        

The panel will report back to the Mayor of Lakeland’s office and to the people of Lakeland on their progress no later than 30 days from now with the goal to provide the Mayor and the people of Lakeland with their full observations and recommendations no later than September 16, 2013.

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Lakeland Police Department Update and Announcement of Advisory Commission

WHO: Mayor Gow Fields and Chief Lisa Womack

 

WHAT: Update on Internal Investigation / Formation of Police Advisory Commission

 

WHEN: Friday, July 12th at 3 p.m. 

 

WHERE: Lakeland Police Department / Don Jones Community Room (2nd floor) / 219 N Massachusetts Ave

 

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2013) -- Mayor Gow Fields and Police Chief Lisa Womack will be holding a press conference to provide an update on the progress of the ongoing internal investigation and announce the formation of a Police Advisory Commission at 3:00PM in the Don Jones Community Room at the Lakeland Police Department.

 

The newly formed Advisory Commission, appointed by the Mayor, is a group of business and civic leaders who will be charged with recommending specific actions to improve community trust with the Lakeland Police Department. The Advisory Commission will be co-chaired by Joe P. Ruthven and Polk State College President Eileen Holden. Among the tasks, they will be looking to see if cultural changes are needed and what steps may need to be taken to ensure that employees of the City of Lakeland feel comfortable about bringing complaints forward.

 

"This Advisory Commission will be comprised of Lakeland People with a Lakeland Focus," said Fields."We want to assure the residents of Lakeland that we have heard their comments. This is about more than disciplinary actions. This is about restoring confidence with our police department."

 

The Advisory Commission will be asked to provide a specific timeline for progress reports and recommendations are expected in 60 to 90 days. 

 

 

 

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