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City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland
City of Lakeland's Blog

GANG TASK FORCE COMMUNITY FORUM

MAY 2OTH COLEMAN BUSH BUILDING @ 6PM

 

 LAKELAND, FL (May 7, 2014) - On Tuesday, May 20th there will be a Gang Task Force Community Forum at the Coleman-Bush Building starting at 6 p.m. In response to a number of recent gang influenced shootings, a Community Task Force has been established to help find solutions to combat growing concerns about gang activity.

 

Commissioner Phillip Walker, Chair of the Gang Task Force said, “There have been a number of gang related shootings in the last several months and the purpose of the task force is to identify the steps needed to help curb gang membership within the community.”  He added, “We would like to give a Task Force update on where we are to date and share with residents on what they can do to assist us because this issue must be addressed by the community as well as law enforcement.”

 

In a meeting on gang related issues held November 2013, members of the community helped identify areas of immediate need that includes both prevention and suppression tactics. These next steps and an action update will be discussed at the community forum. 

1. Organize and identify 1,000 mentors that can serve as role models to troubled teens. This can include other high school students in addition to college students.

2. Collaborate existing youth programs to make sure each program operator knows and understands the existence, capacity and focus of other community based programs. Assess whether more and different types of programming is needed for 13 - 18 year-olds and identify funding concerns.

3. Initiate a partnership between law enforcement and the Polk County School Board to make sure educators are trained and aware of the critical role they play in identifying students who are being groomed or pressured to be part of a gang.  The community also asked that law enforcement instill a County-wide school based gang education program and law enforcement responded to community concerns with a stronger presence in known gang areas.

Mayor Howard Wiggs said, “We need to have a holistic approach to identify and reduce the number of individuals who look at gangs as the answer to their problems.  The current gang issues affect all of us and we need to work together in finding a community solution.” 

 

LPD Assistant Chief Rick Taylor said, “In Lakeland we have approximately 300 documented gang members and associates. Right now we have 46 listed gangs with four very active gangs operating within our community.” 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 and visitwww.lakelandgov.net/RefusetoLose.aspx to get more information on community youth programs and gang related topics.

 


FDOT Promotes “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow – Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” Campaign at Mayfaire by-the-Lake 2014.

 

Bartow – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) continues its successful “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow – Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” bicycle/pedestrian safety campaign during Mayfaire by-the-Lake 2014 this weekend along the shores of Lake Morton in Lakeland.  FDOT staff will offer bike/ped safety tips and hand out various safety items (while quantities last), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11.

 

            In Florida, one in five traffic fatalities is a pedestrian and one in 20 is a bicyclist.  FDOT District Secretary Billy Hattaway is the statewide champion leading Florida’s initiative to reduce fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians. 

 

“Florida has too many bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities, and Polk County is one of the 10 worst counties in the state,” Hattaway said. “We’re taking steps forward with our bike/ped partners in the county to identify potential treatments and educate people in the community. We need to change their behavior with the goal to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.” 

 

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow emphasizes four important behaviors for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers on our roadways:

 

  • always use the crosswalk,
  • look before crossing,
  • stop before turning on red,
  • yield to pedestrians.

 

 

“Learning the rules and making sure to follow them every time will help reduce fatalities and injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.  The state initiative and what it can accomplish is critical,” Secretary Hattaway said.

 

On Saturday, May 10, Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs will join Secretary Hattaway at FDOT’s tent directly across from the main food court from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They will be available to discuss bicycle safety with media and members of the community. 

More information about “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow – Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” is available at http://www.alerttodayflorida.com/.

 

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Sniffen & Spellman, PA Final Report Released

The Lakeland City Commission concluded the investigative actions conducted by Sniffen & Spellman, the Tallahasse law firm hired to conduct the review of allegations made by the former HR Director, Tommy Hamrick.  During testimony with the Polk County State Attorney’s Office, Hamrick alleged that City Manager Doug Thomas was aware of improper hiring practices made by former Lakeland Police Chief, Lisa Womack.  The Lakeland City Commission requested an investigation based on the 
allegations. 

 

The report has been concluded and the findings/ recommendations will be discussed by the City Commission at the Monday, May 5th City Commission meeting.


Please find the report submitted to the City Commission by Sniffen & Spellman linked below.

 

Full Report from Sniffen & Spellman, P.A      I      Exhibits 1 - 12


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE

HOLLINGSWORTH ROAD SIDEWALK 

 
LAKELAND, FL (April 28, 2014) - The City of Lakeland has scheduled a Public Information Workshop regarding a proposed sidewalk along the east side of Hollingsworth Road from Bartow Road (US 98) to Lake Hollingsworth Drive.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33801.  Please enter through the glass doors from the south parking lot, east of the sanctuary.

The meeting will be conducted in an open-house format from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
  During the workshop, City staff and representatives from the study team will be available to discuss the project, receive input, and answer questions. Display boards depicting the project concepts will be available throughout the meeting.

The public information workshop is being conducted to present the project concepts; obtain input from elected and appointed officials, property owners/tenants, business owners/operators, and other interested parties. 

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, or family status. Anyone requiring special accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 or persons that require translation services (free of charge) at the meeting should contact Mrs. Lana Braddy at lana.braddy@lakelandgov.net at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Project-related information may also be obtained by contacting the City project manager, Mr. Greg James at (863) 834-6040, or by email to greg.james@lakelandgov.net or follow the City of Lakeland Public Works Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fbcolpw .

 
 
 
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