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STATEMENT FROM LAKELAND CITY MANAGER DOUG THOMAS REGARDING MEETING WITH STATE ATTORNEY JERRY HILL

STATEMENT FROM LAKELAND CITY MANAGER DOUG THOMAS

REGARDING MEETING WITH STATE ATTORNEY JERRY HILL

 

The Lakeland City Commission asked me to schedule a private meeting with State Attorney Jerry Hill to discuss the status of Sergeant Brian McNabb and to explore ways to improve the relationship between the State Attorney’s Office and the Lakeland Police Department.  I believe the City of Lakeland and the State Attorney’s Office share a common interest in protecting our citizens and trust we can find an acceptable path to achieve that end.

 

It was and continues to be my expectation based upon the direction that I received from the Lakeland City Commission, that I would be meeting with Mr. Hill in private in the spirit of trying to resolve outstanding issues.  I was surprised when I found out late this afternoon that instead of a private meeting between the two of us, the media was also invited to attend without my knowledge.

 

I was under the impression that the meeting would between the two of us in an effort to explore options regarding Sergeant McNabb as well as other ways to improve relationships between the two agencies.   Similar to challenging collective bargaining negotiations, acceptable solutions often are achieved in less formal settings between parties.  My experience is that such an approach allows the principals the opportunity to frankly explore potential common ground as opposed to what is said in the formal trappings of a very public session.

 

Sergeant McNabb was issued a letter from the State Attorney stating that his office would no longer accept his testimony, which essentially is a career ending letter for a Police Officer.  Based on the results of the LPD’s Internal Investigation on Sgt. McNabb, the City desired the opportunity to discuss his status and the possibility of him testifying in the future.

 

It was not my intent nor do I believe the intent of the Lakeland City Commission to have me meet with State Attorney Jerry Hill in a public environment.  Accordingly, I believe I that it would be prudent to seek further direction from the City Commission on how to proceed.  We agreed that tomorrow’s meeting would be postponed and I have reiterated to Mr. Hill the City’s desire to have me meet with him at least initially in private to find solutions to our challenges.  To that end, I am fully prepared to meet with Mr. Hill at our earliest convenience and have asked him to reconsider his position on the format of such a meeting.

 

 


Construction Update: Storm Drain Project in Shore Acres Neighborhood

Beginning December 2nd City of Lakeland crews will be constructing a new storm drain system in the Shore Acres neighborhood. The construction will primarily be contained to Interlachen Pkwy; however Main Street, Elm Road, and Fern Road will be affected with construction activities and temporary road closures. Minor delays can be expected. This work will last approximately 3 months weather permitting.


GROUNDBREAKING FOR STATION 7 IN SOUTHWEST LAKELAND

GROUNDBREAKING FOR STATION 7 IN SOUTHWEST LAKELAND

 

WHO: Lakeland Fire Department

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Lakeland Fire Station 7 located at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport

WHY: To provide fire and rescue service to Southwest Lakeland residents and businesses

WHEN: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Lakeland Linder Regional Airport at Airfield Court off Drane Field Road

 

LAKELAND, FL (November 14, 2013) – The Lakeland Fire Department will conduct the official groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station 7 on Monday, November 18th at 1:30 p.m.  The physical location of Station 7 is 3150 Drane Field Road.

 

Fire Station 7 is estimated to be completed November 2014.  Once the facility is built it will house the recently purchased Fire Engine 71, the two ARFF units, a heavy rescue vehicle and nine personnel on a 24-hour rotation. 

 

Lakeland Fire Chief Gary Ballard said, “Our design team has developed a station that will meet the safety needs of the airport, the needs of our residents and the commercial development around the airport.” He added, “We are very eager to start providing much needed service to the citizens in Southwest Lakeland with the new permanent facility.”

 

The construction costs for Station 7 are $3.5 million.  The station once built will be 15,900 sq.ft. and it will house five bays and four fire fighting vehicles.  The station is estimated to be completed November 2014 and it is being funded through City of Lakeland Public Improvement Funds and FDOT Grant funds.

 


Firefighter Steven Connors was promoted to Driver Engineer

Firefighter Steven Connors Promoted to Driver Engineer




On Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Firefighter Steven Connors was promoted to Driver Engineer, the youngest firefighter to do so in LFD's history. 

 

Steven was joined by his wife and LFD colleagues to celebrate his professional advancement with the Lakeland Fire Department. Steve Connors has been an integral part of the LFD since March 29, 2010. Steve understands the importance of duty and service to country very well, having joined the United States Army at the young age of 17 where he went on to serve with the 1st Ranger Battalion and 82nd Airborne Division prior to joining the LFD.

 

Connors, a Ruskin, Florida native is an avid outdoorsman having spent his childhood fishing and hunting along this great state’s creeks and rivers. He proudly uses that experience and skill to his advantage at the annual Fire Olympics with repeated attempts to dethrone Gilman, Herndon and Brannen.

 

He is an East Bay High School graduate and has since gone on to receive his Associate of Arts degree from Hillsborough Community College and holds certification in law enforcement, fire standards, and is a paramedic.

 

Steve credits his ability to have become a Driver Engineer to the training and support of his crew and all of his family at the LFD. Steve notes that he will deeply miss his brothers and sisters on B shift due the move from this new opportunity but looks forward to the day he can work closely with them again.

 

Congratulations to Steven Connors and sincere thanks for his dedicated service.