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The latest happenings in your city government.


GANG TASK FORCE COMMUNITY FORUM
MONDAY, MAY 11TH COLEMAN BUSH BUILDING


LAKELAND, FL (May 4, 2015) - The Mayor’s Gang Task Force lead by Commissioner Philip Walker will provide a Community Forum on Monday, May 11th at the Coleman Busch Building starting at 6 p.m. The forum will include a presentation providing an update on the prevention, intervention and suppression tactics initiated by the Gang Task Force and partnering law enforcement agencies.

The community will hear an update on G.R.E.A.T. - the anti-gang program administered to Lakeland middle school students by School Resource Officers as well as effective neighborhood outreach events that targeted hot spot areas.  The Lakeland Police Department will share new statistics on their anti-gang suppression efforts.  The Community Forum will hear exciting news and plans for a stand-alone Police Athletic League facility that has been fast-tracked to open before the end of the school year.

Police Chief Larry Giddens, “Last year we had a noticeable uptick in gang related activity. I’m proud to say our multi-pronged approach that includes prevention, intervention and suppression elements have helped us reduce the number of gang related crimes over the past year.”  He added, “We are excited about the opportunities that our new partnership with the City’s Parks & Recreation Department is going to offer the community as we team together for a new Police Athletic League facility. We have big plans for the facility and it will help in the prevention and intervention of our young students.”

The highly successful Summer of Safety program developed between law enforcement agencies and the Citrus Connection will be extended for 2015.  This program will allow Lakeland middle school students to ride the bus for free during the summer.  The program is very similar to the COLTS program initiated by the Polk County School Board.  Tom Phillips, Executive Director for the Citrus Connection said, “Both programs will allow middle and high school students the opportunity to ride the Citrus Connection for free during the summer. Middle school students must sign up and this can be done at our activity centers around town and through the SRO’s at Lakeland middle schools.” He added, “We will also have sign-up opportunities available during the Community Forum.”

The Community Forum will take place on May 11th at 6 p.m. The Coleman Busch Building located at 1104 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33805.  


Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Lakeland Police Department Citizens Academy. Classes will begin on Thursday, August 13, 2015 and conclude on November 19, 2015 with a graduation ceremony. This in-depth academy runs for fifteen (15) consecutive weeks with classes meeting every Thursday night from 6:30PM - 9:30PM. An additional firearms familiarization course is also covered one Saturday where participants will be given a chance to test their skills at the firing range.

The Citizens Police Academy (CPA) is designed for selected community-oriented citizens. The CPA includes detailed information on police topics such as uniformed patrol, special investigations (i.e., vice and narcotics), crime scene investigation, SWAT, K9 and many other areas of interest. Also included in the curriculum is a tour of the police station and communications center.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. You do not have to reside within the city of Lakeland to be accepted.

Although graduates of the CPA are not prepared for street duties, they do have a better understanding of the Lakeland Police Department and a greater awareness and appreciation of the challenges and decisions faced by Lakeland police officers each day.

The Lakeland Police Department is committed to fostering positive Citizen-Police interaction and cooperation. One effective way to achieve this goal is through citizen education into the philosophy of community-oriented policing.

Click here to download an application.

 


 
LAKELAND, FL (January 8, 2015) — The City of Lakeland is offering its 14th Annual Citizens Academy to area residents starting February 26, 2015.  The Citizens Academy is a free, hands-on, interactive public information program that familiarizes citizens with City services and the functions of City Departments.
 
The Lakeland Citizens Academy allows residents to get a behind the scenes look of how City government operates and it provides an outlet for citizen input. The program consists of six (6), two (2) hour evening sessions. 
 

2015 Session Dates


February 26 History & Finance

March 5          Police Department

March 12        Fire Department

March 19        Public Works & Planning

March 26            Utility Services

April 9          Parks & Recreation           


The program is limited to 30 citizens aged 16 or older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  All participants interested in the Citizens Academy are encouraged to attend all of the sessions in order to get the most from the program.
 
All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are from 6-8 p.m. The first session will take place in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue (a light dinner is served at 5:45 p.m. during all sessions).  At least half of the sessions will meet away from City Hall and directions will be given for each City building or facility that hosts a Citizen Academy session.
 
The class will graduate with a certificate in “Governmentology”  at the end of the last session and a catered meal will be served.  Those interested in participating should contact Kevin Cook at 863/834-6264 or kevin.cook@lakelandgov.net to secure a spot on the roster.
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Barricaded Gunman Killed in Standoff with LakelandPD - 
Another body found inside

The Lakeland Police Department responded to 2804 Kathryn Avenue in reference to a male subject inside stating that someone had committed suicide. The suspect had notified an ex in-law who in return called the police department. Officers arrived on the scene and observed a male subject through the front window that was armed with a rifle.

The officers were able to make contact with the suspect via a cell phone and begin a dialog at which time the suspect repeatedly made threats that he wanted law enforcement to shoot him. During the incident, the Lakeland Police Department SWAT team responded to assist. At approximately 11:00pm, the suspect was shot by several members of the SWAT Team after he approached them with the rifle. It is unknown at this time how many rounds were fired or how many officers fired their weapons.

The identity of the suspect is not being released at this time until we confirm his identity. Another unidentified body has been located inside the residence deceased. This investigation is ongoing and an update will be sent out within a few hours.

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.