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LPD CHIEF WOMACK OFFICIALLY SEPARATES FROM THE CITY OF LAKELAND

 
LAKELAND, FL (February 21, 2014) -- Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas has announced that Police Chief Lisa Womack and the City of Lakeland have agreed to accelerate her planned separation from the City from May 1, 2014 to February 17, 2014.  Chief Womack previously tendered her resignation on January 24th, with an effective date of May 1, 2014.  That period was intended to give the City time to prepare for her transition from the department as well as for her to provide support to the City on a number of ongoing personnel and other administrative matters involving the Lakeland Police Department.  Womack was placed on paid administrative leave on January 30th following receipt of a report alleging concerns involving various hiring practices of the Police Department. Assistant Chief Larry Giddens was subsequently appointed as Acting Chief of Police.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Womack will continue to be available to provide support services to the City as needed through May 1, 2014, but she will do so as an independent consultant.  As such, effective February 17th, Womack no longer holds the title of Chief of Police.  As an independent consultant, she will be paid $5,800.00 every two weeks which includes her professional services, associated taxes as an independent contractor and the costs of benefits that she would have otherwise received should she have remained a City employee through May 1, 2014. 

The scope of services Womack will provide are as follows:  
  • Assist in providing information that may be required in support of defense of any administrative matters.
  • Provide advice, support and information in any collective bargaining matters, and/or any other legal or administrative proceedings regarding employee investigations and related disciplinary matters arising out of the Lakeland Police Department during her tenure as Chief of Police.  These services include, but are not limited to:
    • Assistance in preparing requested background materials and briefings for City administration and legal counsel;
    • Participation in discussions concerning labor and legal strategies;
    • Assistance in grievance processing; depositions and providing testimony as may be required.
  • Be available upon request to address departmental operational questions from City personnel as may be needed to assist in the orderly administration of the Lakeland Police Department.
  • Participate in any internal investigations that may require her testimony through May 1, 2014 or beyond, if required. 
In the event that additional administrative support services may required by the City Manager beyond May 1, 2014, Womack has agreed to be available to the extent reasonably possible on an hourly rate.
 
 

 


LAKELAND, FL (January 30, 2014) - Late this afternoon I was provided a copy of the Investigative Summary from the State Attorney’s Office regarding their review of the hiring practices used for a 2012 Lakeland Police Department Public Safety Aide position.  The report raises serious allegations against Police Chief Lisa Womack regarding potential violations of Florida Statutesinvolving Official Misconduct, in addition to alleged deviations from Lakeland Civil Service and Personnel Policies and Procedures.  It is my understanding from a review of the Investigative Summary, that the State Attorney’s Office has closed its review of the matter and is not pursuing any further actions. 

In response to the State Attorney’s report, and consistent with City of Lakeland Personnel Policies, I have placed Chief Womack on paid Administrative Leave, pending further review of the report, including appropriate background documentation and statements which may have been used in reaching their findings.  In the interim, I have appointed Assistant Chief Larry Giddens as Acting Chief of Police pending the outcome of the City’s review on the matter.

Given that many of the allegations in the report concern administrative City of Lakeland Policies and Procedures, it is appropriate that the City review the matter further to determine if any violations of policies have occurred.  Any subsequent actions if indicated will be taken following the results of that review.

- END - 

 


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. 

 


PUBLIC NOTICE

 

CITIZENS TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT INVESTIGATION

 

 

WHO: Citizens of Lakeland, Lakeland City Commission and City of Lakeland Administration

 

WHAT: Citizens Town Hall - Public Meeting

 

WHY: To Discuss Lakeland Police Department

 

WHEN: Monday, July 22, 2013 at 6 p.m. 

 

WHERE: The Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theater, 701 W Lime St  Lakeland, FL 33815

 

LAKELAND, FL (July 12, 2013) – The City of Lakeland will conduct a Citizens Town Hall Public Meeting at The Lakeland Center’s Youkey Theatre on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

The public forum will allow the citizens of Lakeland the opportunity to address their concerns to City Officials about the sexual misconduct investigation that includes several members of the Lakeland Police Department.  A Police Advisory Commission is being formed and input from the Town Hall Meeting will provide additional insight to the panel that is charged with recommending specific actions to improve community trust with the Lakeland Police Department. The Advisory Commission will be co-chaired by Joe P. Ruthven and Polk State College President Eileen Holden.