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GANG TASK FORCE COMMUNITY FORUM

MAY 2OTH COLEMAN BUSH BUILDING @ 6PM

 

 LAKELAND, FL (May 7, 2014) - On Tuesday, May 20th there will be a Gang Task Force Community Forum at the Coleman-Bush Building starting at 6 p.m. In response to a number of recent gang influenced shootings, a Community Task Force has been established to help find solutions to combat growing concerns about gang activity.

 

Commissioner Phillip Walker, Chair of the Gang Task Force said, “There have been a number of gang related shootings in the last several months and the purpose of the task force is to identify the steps needed to help curb gang membership within the community.”  He added, “We would like to give a Task Force update on where we are to date and share with residents on what they can do to assist us because this issue must be addressed by the community as well as law enforcement.”

 

In a meeting on gang related issues held November 2013, members of the community helped identify areas of immediate need that includes both prevention and suppression tactics. These next steps and an action update will be discussed at the community forum. 

1. Organize and identify 1,000 mentors that can serve as role models to troubled teens. This can include other high school students in addition to college students.

2. Collaborate existing youth programs to make sure each program operator knows and understands the existence, capacity and focus of other community based programs. Assess whether more and different types of programming is needed for 13 - 18 year-olds and identify funding concerns.

3. Initiate a partnership between law enforcement and the Polk County School Board to make sure educators are trained and aware of the critical role they play in identifying students who are being groomed or pressured to be part of a gang.  The community also asked that law enforcement instill a County-wide school based gang education program and law enforcement responded to community concerns with a stronger presence in known gang areas.

Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We need to have a holistic approach to identify and reduce the number of individuals who look at gangs as the answer to their problems.  The current gang issues affect all of us and we need to work together in finding a community solution.” 

 

LPD Assistant Chief Rick Taylor said, “In Lakeland we have approximately 300 documented gang members and associates. Right now we have 46 listed gangs with four very active gangs operating within our community.” 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 and visitwww.lakelandgov.net/RefusetoLose.aspx to get more information on community youth programs and gang related topics.

 


Two Drive-By Shootings

 

 

LAKELAND, FL (April 26, 2014) - On April 26th, at 3:00pm, Dayquon Raheem Longs, 15 years old, was a passenger in a vehicle that was traveling southbound on Brunnell Parkway near George Jenkins Boulevard. There were three other subjects in the vehicle. A vehicle, unknown make and model, passed them firing rounds at the vehicle striking Longs in the left arm. The other subjects drove him to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and police were notified by hospital personnel. His condition is unknown at this time. Patrol officers located the crime scene at 3:58 p.m. and Violent Crime Detectives responded to investigate. A passenger in this vehicle, Bayshawn Kelly, 15 years old is the victim in the next shooting described below.

 

While detectives were investigating the first shooting, another shooting occurred.  The second drive-by shooting occurred at 2nd Street and Jewel Avenue  at 6:50pm. The victim, Bayshawn Kelly was standing outside at this location when a vehicle drove by and fired several rounds hitting him in the back and arm. He was airlifted to Tampa in critical condition. There is no vehicle or suspect description in either case.

 

Both of these cases are currently under investigation and its unknown at this time if this was gang related or not. There is no additional information at this time. Anyone with information on either shooting can call 863-834-6900 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

 

 

 

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.


Armed Robberies, Easter Monrning

Lakeland Police need to identify this suspect of one armed robbery with a knife and one attempted robbery with a knife thatoccurred on April 20, 2014, within minutes of each other. One robbery occurred at the 7-11, 3071 S. Road 98 and the other at the Grove Park Chevron, 1315 S. Rd 98, Lakeland. The robberies occurred between 6:00am and 7:00am.

In both robberies the suspect entered the stores with a shirt wrapped around his face, brandished a knife and demanded cash from the store clerk. At the 7-11, the store clerk ran into the cooler and the suspect fled with no money. Minutes later, the suspect appeared at the Grove Park Chevron where the clerk gave the suspect cash and he fled on foot. 

The images were taken off the surveillance camera from the Grove Park Chevron. Neither victim was injured during the robbery. 
The man is described as a white male, 5’08” to 5’11, 130 pounds, 18 to 25 years of age. He was wearing gray sweat pants, a two tone black and gray long sleeve shirt, and black shoes. 

If you have any information regarding these robberies, please call Detective Stacey Pough at 863-834-6966.

 


LPD CHIEF GIDDENS COMPLAINTS BY RETIRED OFFICER MOCK DETERMINED TO BE UNFOUNDED – GIDDENS EXONERATED

LAKELAND, FL (April 10, 2014) - City Manager Doug Thomas recently completed the internal investigation associated with retired Police Officer Jimmy Mock’s complaint against Chief Giddens and Lisa Womack.   The allegations made by Mr. Mock against Chief Giddens were determined to be unfounded in two instances and Chief Giddens was exonerated in the third allegation.  Lisa Womack was exonerated in the sole allegation made against her by Mr. Mock.   

Thomas said, “We fully investigated the allegations made by Mr. Mock through the Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards and after complete review, the findings prove to be unfounded on two of the allegations and Chief Giddens was exonerated in the third allegation.”  He added, “We take these allegations very seriously and we continue to push the Department to be the best that they can be.  We are in the final stages of completing the other internal investigation involving a complaint against Chief Giddens and that investigation is expected to be concluded and released to the media next week.” 

Please find attached a copy of the Investigative Report Summary, as well as the related Findings and Recommended Action Forms to Chief Giddens and Lisa Womack.  Also attached is a copy of the transmittal letter to Mr. Mock informing him of the findings of the investigation. 

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