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A TIME TO PRAY

LAKELAND CITY COMMISSIONER PHILLIP WALKER ESTABLISHES PRAYER VIGIL

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 19, 2013) -- Commissioner Phillip Walker has reached out to the faith community and has put together a prayer vigil with area pastors called A Time to Pray that will take place in Munn Park on Thursday, July 25th at 7:30 a.m. RAIN OR SHINE. Walker said, “I am asking that we come together as a community as we seek guidance through these critical situations that have been brought to the surface. We need to pray for our City and for our citizens as we work together to heal our community.”

A Time to Pray will be lead by Commissioner Walker and will feature area places of worship who have been contacted to appear at the event.  Several places of worship were contacted and at this time three have confirmed their participation with more expected.  Those that have confirmed include:

  • Pastor David McEntire from First United Church of Lakeland
  • Pastor E.T. PickettIII of Word Alive Ministries inLakeland
  • Richard Richardson of New Bethel A.M.E.
  • Steve Davis, Executive Pastor, First Baptist Church at the Mall
  • Mike Cooper, Executive Director The Dream Center
  • Father Caulfield, Retired Parish Leader for St. Joseph Catholic Church
  • Representative from both Temple Emmanuel 

Walker said, “We are all questioning the issues facing the Lakeland Police Department and I can tell you that we have some great people working for us who put their life on the line every day for our safety.  We are working through the issues and we are determined to let those go who have disgraced our City.  He added, “I invite the community to meet us in Munn Park even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer as we embrace unity and guidance for our City.” 

 

For more information, please contact Commissioner Phillip Walker at 863/698-8094.

 

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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

 

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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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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