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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

 

 


LPD To Participate in 2nd Annual Global Tweet-A-Thon on Friday,November 1st

On November 1, 2013 the Lakeland Police Department will take part in the 2nd Global Police Tweet-a-thon. Last March the department participated in the first ever Global Tweet-a-thon with over 200 law enforcement agencies in 10 countries, speaking 23 languages! During the 24 hour period the participants in the tweet-a-thon sent and shared 48,482 tweets. This time we are hoping to increase the number of participating agencies and tweets. 

Why participate? The Lakeland Police Department wants to help promote the use of social media in policing and get the message out to our community, and beyond, about police work and the issues officers face in the performance of their job. We want to connect with our community and give you information in the most effective, efficient manner. We currently use our Twitter, Facebook, Nixle and website to provide information directly to our community. During the Tweet-a-thon, agencies will use the hashtag #poltwt. 

So, on November 1st, follow @LakelandPD as we embark on this 2nd Global Police Tweet-a-thon. This time we will also have Sergeant Gary Gross and Captain Rick Taylor tweeting, so you can follow them as well, use @GaryBGross and @CaptRTaylor.


LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT OPEN HOUSE - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19TH

The Lakeland Police Department will hold their Open House on Saturday, October 19th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This year our theme is “Let’s Keep Moving”. We are focusing on health, wellness and fitness and have invited vendors to share their information to help us get…and stay healthy! Some of the businesses that have committed are:  Just Dance, Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Bent’s Bicycle Shop, LeRoy’s Bicycle Shop, InnerAct Alliance and Omega Man, to just name a few.

In addition to the vendors that will share a wealth of knowledge, we will have our K9’s, SWAT team, DUI Enforcement, Hostage Negotiators, Crime Scene Techs, the Helicopter and more! Along with LPD’s components, we will have other city partners with us; the Fire Department, Lakeland Electric, Lakeland Water, Coleman Bush and Simpson Park.

There will be tours of the police station beginning at 10:30 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. These tours include the Crime Lab, Communications Center and the Emergency Operations Center.

You will be able to enjoy plenty of children’s activities and entertainment. And, hot dogs and popcorn will be served during the event.

So gather your family, friends and neighbors and come out and enjoy a day with the Lakeland Police Department.

 


CITY OF LAKELAND EXPANDED RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM GOES LIVE SEPTEMBER 1ST

CITY OF LAKELAND EXPANDED RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM GOES LIVE SEPTEMBER 1ST

 

LAKELAND, FL (August 27, 2013) - The City of Lakeland will increase the number of red light safety cameras on Sept. 1, expanding a traffic safety program with a positive record of decreasing dangerous red light running violations.

 

Nine additional cameras at six intersections will be added to the City’s current program of nine cameras. The new arrangement will provide photo enforcement at 11 intersections. For 30 days beginning Sept. 1, authorities will issue warning notices without fines for red-light running violations captured by the new cameras. The warning period gives drivers time to adjust to the presence of 24-hour enforcement. Once the warning phase ends, police will issue citations with $158 fines for running a red light.

 

A 10th camera location is still under consideration based on future FDOT construction at the North Florida and Memorial Boulevard location.  This intersection was originally listed as the number one location of the additional top ten intersections based on the criteria used in choosing new proposed Red Light Camera locations. 

 

Since the city began its photo enforcement program, red-light running violations at intersections with cameras have fallen 77% from the first full month of operation in June 2009 compared with April 2013, the most recent available monthly data. Decreases in violations indicate a change in driver behavior and improved safety because of a diminished opportunity for dangerous red-light running crashes.

 

Another indication that the program is improving driver behavior is the 11 percent recidivism rate, which shows that 89% of vehicle owners who received a red-light running violation from June 2009 through April 2013 did not get a second ticket, indicating drivers are getting the message to stop on red.

 

“This is a public safety program that deters red-light running crashes by changing driver behavior. In our community, drivers are getting the message to stop on red. We know that red-light safety cameras are making our streets safer and saving lives,” said Lakeland’s Police Chief Lisa Womack. The new red-light safety cameras are located at the following intersections:

 

  • WB W Memorial Blvd @ Martin L King Jr Ave/ North Dakota Ave
  • WB E Memorial Blvd @ N Massachusetts Ave
  • EB E Memorial Blvd @ N Massachusetts Ave
  • NB Harden Blvd @ W Beacon Rd
  • SB Harden Blvd @ North Pkwy Frontage Rd
  • NB Bartow Rd/US 98 @ N Crystal Lk
  • SB Bartow Rd/US 98 @ N Crystal Lk
  • SB US 98 @ Griffin Rd
  • NB US 98 @ Griffin Rd

 

 

The value of Lakeland’s red-light safety camera program includes more than public safety. By reducing traffic crashes, one red-light safety cameras saves Lakeland an average of $150,151 annually in avoided crash costs.

 

This year alone, the City submitted $512,000 in red-light running ticket fines to the State of Florida, a portion of which goes to hospitals and medical research. The vast majority of fines are paid by drivers outside of Lakeland. Residents here received 7% of all red-light running citations since the program began through April 2013.

 

Cameras operate 24 hours a day and capture images of vehicles when they run a red light at a controlled intersection. All violations are issued after a sworn LPD Officer  reviews the photographic and video evidence. Signs posted along the street in advance of a RLC controlled intersection  alert drivers that red-light safety cameras are in use at the intersection ahead. Warnings and citations will be mailed to the owner of the vehicle identified in the red-light running photographic evidence, as provided for in state law.

 

The City of Lakeland has contracted with American Traffic Solutions Inc. (ATS) which provides red light and speed enforcement programs in nearly 300 communities across North America.  Additional information regarding the City of Lakeland’s traffic safety program can be found atwww.lakelandgov.net