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The latest happenings in your city government.


LAKELAND, FL (August 23, 2013) -- The City of Lakeland has received its final report from former Judge Monterey Campbell regarding the review of the Lakeland Police Department’s (LPD) public record process.  Judge Campbell was retained by the City to specifically review LPD’s public record requests processes to ensure conformance with Florida Statutes and provide recommendations regarding potential enhancements to current practices.  Campbell concluded that LPD has procedures in place to provide full disclosure to the satisfaction of the requesting party.  (A complete copy of Judge Campbell’s report)  It can also be accessed at www.lakelandgov.net/LPDUpdate.aspx.
 
The report states that in the spirit of full disclosure, if there is a gray area of whether a law enforcement exemption to disclosure applies and it is not harmful to LPD’s duty to protect the public, then LPD should err on the side of releasing the information.  Campbell said, “I am reliably assured that where possible that will be the policy and practice that LPD intends to follow going forward, even if it has been perceived not to have been so in the past.”
 
As part of the study into the public records process at LPD, Campbell met with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), the Tampa Police Department (TPD) and he visited editorial staff from The Ledger.  In the report, Campbell noted that the procedures adopted and in place and the practices followed by all of the law enforcement agencies were very similar.  Campbell suggested that LPD continue to work with the PCSO and TPD in a collaborative effort to assist each other in helpful procedures that further the freedom of access of public records.
 
Chief Womack said, “I am very pleased that Judge Campbell found our process very similar to the PCSO and TPD.  We will continue to review best practices and foster collaborative relationships with our neighboring law enforcement agencies.”   She added, “Judge Campbell met with myself and senior staff at LPD and he particularly liked some of the practices that we have put in place like our Public Records Handbook and the Public Records Training Guide that was designed to be a quick reference to answer common questions that pertain to public records access.”
 
“I am persuaded that LPD is taking every step necessary to provide a willing and cooperative openness to their records in accord with the basic interest, purpose and requirement of our public records laws,” said Campbell.  “Chief Womack assured me of her intent and policy that LPD will freely provide complete openness to their records except where the law established that public safety and third party interests require that certain restrictions are applicable.”
 
The report states that it is important that the public has confidence that LPD will perform its disclosure responsibilities in good faith. Campbell said, “My consideration of the process currently in place with LPD and the practices being followed regarding compliance with public records requests has persuaded me that there exists a good faith effort to meet the rightful expectations of the public.”
 
City Manager Doug Thomas said, “I‘ve had a chance to briefly review the report and it seems as though the practices that the LPD has implemented regarding public records disclosure have resulted in a favorable review by Judge Campbell.  We will continue to consider further enhancements in both the LPD’s and the City of Lakeland’s public record requests processes such as implementing specialized  records tracking software, expanding communication capabilities and improved media relations.”
 
Campbell concluded the report by noting a court observation regarding public records disclosure, “the purpose behind the examination of the various provisions for exemptions, restrictions and confidentiality pertaining to public records disclosure is not to decide whether there are sufficient reasons to release requested information but rather decide whether there are sufficient reasons not to release it.”  Campbell said, “It appears to me that LPD understands and is on course of applying that concept.”
 
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CONTACT:

 Michael Matlick

  Lakeland Citizens Police Academy

Alumni Association

 863.934.0710

Dinner and Silent Auction to Honor Heroes

 Proceeds Raised will benefit the Lakeland Police K-9 Unit and

 the LCPAAA Scholarship Fund

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LAKELAND, FL (August 13, 2013) – The Lakeland Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (LCPAAA) in conjunction with the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department is hosting the “5th Annual Honoring Heroes BBQ Dinner and Silent Auction” at the Lake Mirror Complex on Saturday, September 7, 2013. The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 6:00 pm with the auction closing at 8:00 pm.  Tickets for the event are $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the upcoming First Friday Event or by calling (863) 934-0710.

While at the event, guests will enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and have fun bidding on their favorite items in the silent auction. On the auction table will be something for everyone’s budget with items ranging from gift cards to local restaurants to vacation getaways. There will be opportunities to meet the K9 officers and their loyal partners. A photo booth will be available where guests can have their photo taken with a K9 and take home a free souvenir photo.

Thank you to our event sponsors:  My Pets Animal Hospital, Publix Charities, Mayor Gow Fields, Commissioner Howard Wiggs, Commissioner Justin Troller, SPHR Commissioner Don Selvage, Knights of Columbus Assembly 154, Hickory Hills Manor, Talbot House, Magnify Credit Union, GEICO, Richard Derk, CPA and Charlie Burdett. 

Donations Needed

Donation items are being sought for the silent auction. Those who would like to make a donation will have their name displayed at the silent auction as a donor and posted on the LCPAAA website. Once the auction has ended, donors will be notified by mail how much their item sold for so that information can be used for tax purposes. Limited table sponsorships are also available. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to the Lakeland Police Department's K-9 unit and the LCPAAA scholarship fund.

LCPAAA is a volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which focuses on creating a better understanding and cooperation between local law enforcement and the community. If you have any questions or want to find out more about LCPAAA, call (86)398-1074 or visit us online at www.lcpaaahome.org


Governor Rick Scott Appoints LPD Detective Nick Marolda to Criminal Justice and Training Commission.



On July 25th, Governor Rick Scott announced five appointments and reappointment to the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Lakeland Police Detective, Nicholas Marolda, Jr, fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning August 2, 2013, and ending August 1, 2017. Detective Marolda has been employed by the Lakeland Police Department for 22 years. 

The CJSTC is made up of 19-members consisting of various assignments to include municipal law enforcement, sheriffs, chiefs of police and correctional officers. Their mission is to ensure that all citizens of Florida are served by criminal justice officers who are ethical, qualified, and well-trained.

The primary responsibility of the Commission is: 

• Establish uniform minimum standards for the employment and training of full-time, part-time, and auxiliary law enforcement, and correctional and correctional probation officers.

• Establish and maintain officer training programs, curricula requirements, and certification of training schools and training school instructors.

• Certify officers who complete a Florida Basic Recruit Training Program, or who are diversely qualified through experience and training, and who meet minimum employment standards.

• Review and administer appropriate administrative sanctions in instances when an officer, a training school instructor, or a training school is found in violation of Florida Statutes and Commission standards.

• Promulgate rules and procedures to administer the requirements of Chapter 943.085 – 943.257, F.S. 

• Conduct studies of compensation, education, and training for the correctional, correctional probation, and law enforcement disciplines. 

• Maintain a central repository of records of all certified officers.

• Conduct quarterly meetings to discuss issues and approve rules that relate to officer standards and training.

• Develop, maintain, and administer the State Officer Certification Examination for criminal justice officers.

The appointment of Detective Marolda attests to his professional competence, dedication to duty and his team-oriented accomplishments as he takes on this new challenge.


Lakeland Police Department Awarded National Accreditation

The Lakeland Police Department is proud to announce that it received national accreditation on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at the Summer Conference in Columbus, Ohio. 

To receive accreditation, the Lakeland Police Department had to comply with 480 internationally accepted standards for the operation of police organizations. In April, a team of assessors from CALEA examined all aspects of the Department’s policy and procedures, operations, management, and support services to verify they met the Commission’s state-of-the-art standards. The process holds the department accountable and sets the bar for professionalism. 

On Saturday morning, members of the department appeared before a panel of review Commissioners. Saturday evening a vote was taken and accreditation was awarded to the department. 

Chief Womack said, “I am pleased that the Lakeland Police Department has regained their accredited status and thank all of the men and women of this department for their dedication and commitment to excellence.” She went on to say, “This department is moving forward and I think this shows our community that this department stands ready to serve them.” 

This voluntary process towards accreditation means that the Lakeland Police Department is dedicated to providing the best service to the citizens of Lakeland. 

For more information on accreditation, go to www.calea.org

This information is available at www.lakelandgov.net/lpd and on Facebook. 

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.834.4314.