City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.



LAKELAND, FL (September 28, 2015) - An agreement has been entered into between the City of Lakeland, David Woolverton and the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA). 

Interim City Manager Tony Delgado said, “There were two main issues considered in the unique situation involving Officer Woolverton and his right to work as a sworn member of the Lakeland Police Department. One was the standing position of the State Attorney’s Office with regard to the “death letter” that outlines that the State Attorney’s office will not take testimony from Woolverton.  This is a very important consideration that has to be factored into any decision.” He added,  “The other was the direction given by the arbitrator to return Officer Woolverton to full capacity as a police officer. These two directives were in conflict with one another, so a settlement was negotiated that was a result of compromises on both sides of the table.”  The City of Lakeland and the PBA both made concessions to their original positions that allowed for an agreement to be reached. 

To avoid continuing litigation between the parties, the City of Lakeland will continue to employ Woolverton as a sworn Police Officer with the Lakeland Police Department.  The City will pay Woolverton back pay with interest for lost opportunities to work extra duty details in the amount of $9,688.76.  As a result of a 2013 decision by the State Attorney to not use Woolverton as a witness, Woolverton will remain in the position of Special Operations-Equipment Operator and will not seek transfer from this position for the remainder of his employment with the City of Lakeland.  

As long as the July 2013 letter from the State Attorney remains in effect, Woolverton will not apply for or participate in any overtime detail that would require him to use his official police authority. He will not participate in routine traffic enforcement activities that may require official police documents and Woolverton will not participate in any special assignments including but not limited to the SWAT team that may require him to use his official police authority. The agreement also provides Woolverton with a police uniform and outlines that that he will receive the same treatment as any other member of the Lakeland Police Department and afforded the same rights of a police officer. The signed agreement is attached.

Police Chief Larry Giddens said, “I have heard it said that a when a good compromise is reached both parties walk away from the table a little disappointed.  I believe that is the case here and we have reached a good compromise.  We will now be able to put this situation behind us and move forward.  Thank you to all for the hard work and dedication to this case on both sides of the table.”

Dinner and Silent Auction to Honor Heroes
Proceeds Raised will benefit the Lakeland Police K-9 Unit and the LCPAAA Scholarship Fund

LAKELAND, FL (September 7, 2015) – The Lakeland Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (LCPAAA) in conjunction with the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department is hosting the “8th Annual Honoring Heroes BBQ Dinner and Silent Auction” at the Lake Mirror Complex on Saturday, September 12, 2015. The event, which is open to the public, will begin at 6:00 pm with the auction closing at 7:30 pm.  Tickets for the event are $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the event or by calling (863) 934-0710.

While at the event, guests will enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and have fun bidding on their favorite items in the silent auction. On the auction table will be something for everyone’s budget with items ranging from gift cards to local restaurants to vacation getaways. There will be opportunities to meet the K9 officers and their loyal partners. A photo booth will be available where guests can take their photo taken with a K9.

LCPAAA is a volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which focuses on creating a better understanding and cooperation between local law enforcement and the community. If you have any questions or want to find out more about LCPAAA, call (86)398-1074 or visit us online at


Congratulations to the Lakeland Police Department - 3rd Place Honors in Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Program 2015 Click or Ticket Challenge.

The annual awards, supported by the Florida Department of Transportation, recognize those agencies who participate in the annual Click or Ticket Challenge with traffic enforcement and education initiatives geared toward saving lives by enforcing Florida's safety belt laws.




Congrats to Victor White and Ruben Garcia!

Today both will be formally promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief for LakelandPD. With a combined 60 YEARS of service to the Lakeland Community we say THANK YOU and Congratulations to these two gentlemen.

Victor White
began his service with the Lakeland Police Department in 1983 after serving as a Military Policeman in the United States Army. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Critical Incident Management from Saint Leo University. Victor is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University, a graduate of the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander Academy (DUCA), the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy 239th session (FBINA), the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Florida Executive Development Seminar (FEDS). He is also a Certified Labor Relations Professional through the Florida Public Employees Labor Relations Association (FPELRA).

Ruben Garcia
began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1987 after returning home from four years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. He will hold the distinction of being the first Hispanic officer to be appointed to the rank of Assistant Chief. He is currently assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Uniformed Patrol Division and will assume the duties of the Commanding Officer of the Neighborhood Services Bureau. Ruben has been assigned to the Special Investigations Section, the Criminal Investigations Section, Neighborhood Liaison Section and the SWAT team during his service with the department. Ruben has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from St. Leo University and has completed the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Senior Leadership Program through Florida State University, the State of Florida Certified Public Manager Program and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. He is a certified criminal justice high liability instructor in both firearms and defensive tactics.


A promotion ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, July 10, 2015, at 3:00 pm, in the First United Methodist Church Wesley Center (new building), located at 72 Lake Morton Dr. Lakeland, Florida 33801.