City News Blog

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This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!


LAKELAND, FL (October 13, 2016) | BULLETIN: P16– 051 | The Lakeland Police Department will host their 12th Annual Open House on Saturday, October 15th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This year’s event, focused on “See Something. Say Something”, will feature a scavenger hunt and the first public unveiling of the department’s new MRAP Rescue Vehicle. 

This FREE event gives citizens the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Lakeland’s finest. During this fun-filled family day, you can meet members of the SWAT team, take a peek inside LPD’s mobile command center, see the armored rescue vehicle up close and check out the K-9 team in action! There will be tours of the police station beginning at 10:30 a.m. and running until 1:30 p.m. These tours include the Crime Lab, Communications Center and the Emergency Operations Center.

The Community Services Unit will be doing bicycle helmet fittings and giving away free helmets to children. Plenty of children’s activities, live entertainment and free hot dogs and popcorn make for a guaranteed good time! So gather your family, friends and neighbors and come out and enjoy a day with the Lakeland Police Department.

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357.

CONTACT:

Robin Tillett, Media Relations | Lakeland Police Department | 863/834-2963


LAKELAND, FL (September 15, 2016) | The Lakeland Police Department’s next Chief’s Chat will be held on Monday, September 19th, from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Lakeland Police Department, in the Don Jones Community Room, located at 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue. The topic will be Internal Affairs & Citizens Awards.

We will be handing out citizen awards and then Sgt. Strong will be giving an overview on Internal Affairs.

Date: September 19th, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Lakeland Police Department, 2nd Floor Community Room

 

CONTACT:

Media inquiries should be directed to (863) 583-2357


LAKELAND, FL (September 7, 2016) On September 5th at 1:14 a.m., members of the Uniform Patrol Division responded to Max Jewelers, 1553 Town Center Drive, in reference to an alarm activation. Officers discovered that unknown subjects shattered the front glass window and the front door. The jewelry case inside the store on the northeast side, was shattered and appeared to have jewelry items removed from it.

Miscellaneous rings, bracelets and other assorted jewelry items were missing according to a store representative, Abdullah Madi. A store surveillance tape revealed three black male subjects making a force entry into the business. 

At approximately 2:54 a.m. that same morning, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Bolin spotted a stolen vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 27. The vehicle, a 2008 GMC Sierra pickup, had been reported stolen out of Winter Haven on September 4th.  The Haines City Police Department assisted and a short pursuit ensued. A deputy initiated a precision immobilization technique (PIT) to stop the vehicle. The vehicle crashed in a ditch on Highway 27 at 915 Roberts Road, Lake Hamilton. The passenger was immediately apprehended.  The driver fled on foot and was observed jumping a fence at a business. Haines City Police Department K-9 located and apprehended the driver.

During the course of this investigation, it was discovered that both subjects were in possession of a backpack containing jewelry from Max Jewelers. 

Driver has been identified as: Christopher Dwayne Lewis, 17 years old of 1700 2nd Street NW, Winter Haven. Lewis has been charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Structure, Grand Theft and Possession of Burglary Tools.

Passenger has been identified as Jovan Tavarus Washington, 15 years of age of 1700 2nd Street NW, Winter Haven. Washington has been charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Structure and Grand Theft. 

Detectives have identified the third subject involved and additional charges may be forthcoming pending further investigation. The name of the third subject is not being released at this time. Detectives are continuing to investigate this case working with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Winter Haven and Haines City Police Department. For additional information on the stolen vehicle, apprehension and additional charges, please contact the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Haines City Police Department.


Lakeland, FL (September 7, 2016)- The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) and the Lakeland Police Department (LPD) are excited to present a new “Keep 911 for Emergencies” public safety campaign. The campaign features four public service announcements and related print materials aimed at reminding the community that 911 is for emergencies only and that it should be used responsibly. 

Both LFD and LPD receive a high number of calls for service (22,515 and 108,657, respectively, in 2015). These calls are managed by the Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center, which dispatched 131,172 calls for service last year.

The Lakeland Fire Department and the Lakeland Police Department joined forces to address these issues of mutual concern in hopes of improving response with their current resources while in the process helping make Lakeland a safer community; a priority for both agencies. 

The Lakeland Public Safety 911 Communications Center was consulted when developing this campaign to identify the most common examples of 911 misuse. In Lakeland’s case the leading issues in 911 misuse were: accidental dialing from cell phones by both unknowing adults or children on mobile devices; non-emergency medical calls; and parents calling 911 to threaten disobedient children. Individual public service announcements were created for each of these issues.


The public service announcements are available at:

Lakeland Fire Department | YouTube | Facebook

Lakeland Police Department | YouTube | Facebook

The PSAs may also be downloaded for redistribution at https://vimeo.com/cityoflakeland . They will also be shown on the City of Lakeland’s Public Access Channel, LGN.


Everyone is encouraged to share these messages to promote responsible 911 use. 

For interviews, filming, and more information please contact:

Janel Vasallo

Office: (863) 834-8219 | janel.vasallo@lakelandgov.net | Lakeland Fire Department


Robin Tillett

Office: (863) 834-2963 | Robin.tillett@lakelandgov.net | Lakeland Police Department