Search

City News Blog

rss

The latest happenings in your city government.


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.

 

 


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