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 - The Lakeland Fire Department (LFD) is excited to announce that it will be accepting applications to fill vacant firefighter positions starting September 30, 2016 through October 15, 2016. The firefighters to be hired will fill positions created by recent promotions and retirements. At minimum, ten firefighters will be hired.

The Lakeland Fire Department offers competitive pay and benefits, extensive professional development, and is an established public safety leader in the region. As a result, it is a highly desirable fire department to work for, often receiving hundreds of applications in a short window of time when vacancies are opened.

More information about necessary qualifications, how to apply, and pay and benefits is available at lakelandgov.net/lfd. An employment brochure and a 25-minute video production “Fully Involved: What it means to be a Lakeland Firefighter” is also available at the Lakeland Fire Department website to provide prospective applicants more information about why they should apply.

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply at lakelandgov.net/employmentservices.

Applications are only accepted online.  Diverse applicants representative of Lakeland’s community, that meet the firefighter employment requirements, are strongly encouraged to apply.

LFD utilizes the National Testing Network (NTN) and requires a Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) of all applicants. The City of Lakeland is a drug-free work place and an equal opportunity employer.

More about the Lakeland Fire Department:

Established in 1916, the Lakeland Fire Department has a rich history and celebrated its centennial as a career fire department in August 2016. The department has seven stations serving approximately 100,000 people in the City of Lakeland. The department has 170 employees, of which 150 are emergency response personnel. In 2015, the department responded to over 22,000 service calls in its 84 square-mile response area, which includes the city limits as well as portions of unincorporated Lakeland.

The department offers a wide range of services which includes heavy rescue, technical rescue, fire prevention, fire code enforcement, fire investigation, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and in-house fleet maintenance; all in addition to fire suppression and emergency medical response. The Lakeland Fire Department is also passionate about being an active participant in its community and consistently giving back through philanthropic efforts and through non-emergency services such as community outreach and preventative public education.

CONTACT:

Janel Vasallo, MPH | Public Relations / Information Manager | Lakeland Fire Department | 863/834-8219


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


Contractors working for the City of Lakeland will begin milling Massachusetts Avenue in preparation of resurfacing. The milling process will begin on September 20, 2016 and will be the entire length of Massachusetts Avenue from Lake Morton Drive to Memorial Boulevard. 

Following the milling, the road will be resurfaced, the week of September 26, 2016. We expect the project to be complete in two weeks but weather may impact the time schedule. Message boards will be placed beginning September 12, 2016 to provide advance notification.


ADDITIONAL PROJECT UPDATES:

Lincoln Avenue Sidewalk

City of Lakeland crews are constructing a new sidewalk on the east side of Lincoln Avenue from Beacon Road to Ariana Street.  Drainage improvements will commence on Lincoln Avenue from Roberts Street to Leyte Street.  While periodic lane closures are necessary during construction, we will make every attempt to minimize delays.    Anticipated completion date for this project is December 2016.

Clarendon Avenue Sidewalk Repair

Crews are repairing sidewalk on Clarendon Avenue.  No delays are expected, however, the presence of construction equipment and personnel will require motorists and pedestrians to use caution.  Anticipated completion date for this project is early September 2016.

Crystal Lake Drive Bike Lane and Sidewalk

The eastbound lane of Crystal Lake Drive from New Jersey Road to Bartow Road continues to be closed.  Bike lane and sidewalk construction is in progress and expected to be complete in December.


CONTACT:

Michael Whigham, Manager of Construction & Maintenance | (863) 834-3300

 


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.