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The latest happenings in your city government.


LPD Sergeant Brian McNabb Reinstated


State Attorney Jerry Hill issued Sgt. Brian McNabb a letter on September 16, 2013 stating that his office would no longer accept testimony from him in the 10th District unless he submitted to a polygraph. The City has reviewed the matter in greater detail and weighed the various options, legal considerations and potential outcomes, and as a result, has reached an agreement to retain him as a certified law enforcement officer with the LPD.


 

In his present capacity, Sgt. McNabb serves as a training officer for the department and coordinates the Mini-Academy, (in which he also provides instruction in the areas of physical fitness, weapons and other related programs, which does not include court testimony. It is very unlikely he would be called upon to testify let alone be the sole officer who would be called upon to testify in a criminal matter.  As such, there is little risk in him having to be called to court which could potentially impact his ability to testify in the 10th District.  


 

The agreement the City of Lakeland has reached with both Sgt. McNabb and the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association  (WCFPBA) is that while he will be returned to normal status, the Department has the right to take into consideration, the effect of the letter to the extent it remains in effect, when and if he becomes eligible for any assignment, transfer or promotion wherein the requirement to testify may be implicated.  While this criteria cannot be exercised arbitrarily or capriciously by the Chief of Police, both McNabb and the WCFPBA have agreed that they will not pursue an administrative appeal of any denial that is made in such a manner.


 

Chief Womack state that the agreement reached with city management, herself and the WCFPBA represents the best possible outcome for all parties involved in light of the particular circumstances.  


 

Attachment:   Letter Agreement signed by Sgt. McNabb, Chief Womack and the WCFPBA and the letter received from the State Attorney’s Office.


 

 

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.

 


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.

 

 


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

 

 


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.