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LAKELAND POLICE ADVISORY COMMISSION MEMBER ANA RIVERA RESIGNS FROM PANEL DUE TO WORKLOAD AND HEALTH REASONS

LAKELAND, FL (July 30, 2013) - Ana Rivera, the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County president, resigned Monday from the Lakeland Police Department Advisory Commission.  She cited an expanding workload in organizing chamber events and recent medical news as her reasons for resigning. Rivera said, “I've got so many things on my plate that when I saw what we had ahead of us with the Advisory Panel, I found it's going to be a lot of work and I don't think physically I'm prepared for it.”

Mayor Gow Fields said, “In a phone conversation on Monday, Ana shared with me that she and her husband were informed last Friday that he will be facing major surgery.”  He added, “This along with her work schedule and the work for Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be too much for her to continue. She is excited about the work of the panel and has made some suggestions for me as to who can be appointed in her place.”

Mayor Fields plans to address the Lakeland Police Advisory Commission and present Rivera’s replacement at their upcoming meeting on Friday, August 2nd scheduled at 3 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall located at 228 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL.

 

Mayor Gow Fields said, “We have assembled an advisory panel to review the current situation with LPD and City Hall in light of the State’s Attorney’s report to develop recommendations for making improvements.” He added, “The Panel is a diverse group, spanning a range of age, experience, gender, race and political affiliation and I feel confident that they will bring a citizens’ perspective to the issue.”

 

The advisory panel will conduct their business independently from City Administration with full support to meet with any public officials including but not limited to Chief Womack or any other personnel.

 

The Lakeland Police Advisory Commission has been charged to define and answer questions concerning the recent controversies involving the Lakeland Police Department and suggest specific actions that can be taken to improve community trust.  Specific questions to be addressed by the panel include:

·         Does the City and LPD have the appropriate processes in place to address current challenges?

·         What can be done to improve the culture within the LPD?

·         What can be done to improve citizen trust?                                                                                                        

The panel had their first meeting on Thursday, July 25th and during the meeting they named Bruce Abel and Tim Jackson as co-chairs.

For more information regarding the Lakeland Police Advisory Panel, go to www.lakelandgov.net.