City News Blog


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.


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

LAKELAND, FL (August 2, 2016) The Lakeland Police Department is proud to announce that it has successfully retained two national accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA®).  On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Chief Larry Giddens and senior staff accepted the reaccreditations for the department’s overall standards of performance and for their Public Safety Communications operation at the summer conference in Baltimore, Maryland. 

To receive reaccreditation in the CALEA® Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation Program, the Lakeland Police Department had to comply with 484 internationally accepted standards for the operation of police organizations. The Advanced Program is a more rigorous process than the standard Accreditation Program which requires compliance with only 189 standards.  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 excellence among law enforcement agencies. “The reaccreditation of the Lakeland Police Department reaffirms the dedication and professionalism shown everyday by men and women who work to protect and serve the citizens of Lakeland,” said Chief Larry Giddens.   

To receive the reaccreditation for Public Safety Communications, the 911 Emergency Communications team proved compliance with 211 internationally accepted standards. The achievement certifies that the department meets or exceeds benchmarks and professional requirements in critical incidents, special operations including Homeland Security, organization, training, recruitment and operations. 911 Communications Manager Bill LePere said “Any agency can claim their policies and procedures are among the best, but accredited agencies are willing to go through stringent review by outside assessors who evaluate entire operations to ensure adherence to industry best practices.

Both accreditations are valid for four years, at which time the department will again actively participate in a review process for reaccreditation.  For more information on CALEA® accreditation, go to

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

Missing/Endangered Person Larry Langford

Lakeland Police are searching for missing/endangered person Larry Langford, W/M, age 53, 5’10” tall and weighing 200 pounds.  Langford went missing at 0830 hours on 6/4/16 from the Lake Wire Retirement Center, 315 West Peachtree Street, Lakeland, Florida.  

Langford has a medical condition and is on medication.   Langford is on foot and was last seen wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants. Langford is bald with gray hair, beard, and mustache.  If you come into contact with Langford, or have information of his whereabouts, please contact police immediately. 

Police have attempted to track with K-9 and saturated the area in an attempt to locate Langford. 

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.


Media inquiries should be directed to 863.860-4178.

Lakeland First Responders Prepare for Disaster Management

Lakeland First Responders Prepare for Disaster Management 

Lakeland, FL – Lakeland’s First Responders are preparing for future disasters at the Emergency Management Institute in Emittsburg, Maryland this week, gaining valuable knowledge in disaster management strategies. Representatives from the City of Lakeland include the Lakeland Fire Department’s Assistant Chief of Operations, Douglas Riley, Battalion Chiefs John Maddox and Mike Williams, Lakeland Police Department Captains Steve Walker and Hans Lehman, and the Lakeland Center’s Brandon Flynn. 

The Integrated Emergency Management Courses (IEMCs) are a four and half day exercise-based training activity that places Emergency Operations Center (EOC) personnel under realistic crisis situations within a structured learning environment. 

Lakeland’s First Responders are working alongside 68 colleagues representing all facets of Polk County government including the municipalities of Auburndale, Winter Haven, and Haines City to manage a hurricane scenario directly impacting Polk County. This scenario attempts to build awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures in an EOC to protect life and property through applications of sound emergency management principles. This learning opportunity comes at a great value as travel, lodging, and transportation is paid for entirely by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Ideally these skills will never be fully utilized, however natural and man-made disasters like hurricanes pose a serious threat to the State of Florida every year so it is prudent that Lakeland and greater Polk County Emergency Response agencies be prepared for the worst to protect its citizens . The Integrated Emergency Management Course serves to build upon lessons learned from Hurricanes Charlie, Francis, and Jean from 2004, making our community a safer place in which to live. The fictional “Hurricane Penny” is the focus of this course exercise.