Interim Chief Larry Giddens
Larry Giddens began his law enforcement career in 1984 as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Lakeland Police Department. He was hired full time by the department in 1985 with patrol assignments including Field Training Officer, Honor Guard and Uniform Crime Scene Technician. He was selected as a SWAT member in 1987 and served on the departments Street Crimes Unit. Larry was selected as a K-9 Officer in 1989 assigned to the Street Crimes Unit and Patrol Division.
Larry was promoted to Sergeant in 1993 and served as Patrol Sergeant for one year. In 1994 he was assigned to the Street Crimes Unit in the Special Operations Section. Larry served the next seven years as the Sergeant for this unit.
Larry was promoted to Lieutenant in December 2001. He was assigned as the Officer in Charge of Delta Squad in the Neighborhood Services Bureau. After serving in this capacity for two years, Larry was transferred to the Special Investigations Section as the Officer in Charge and served in this capacity until July 2006 when he was transferred to the Neighborhood Liaison Section as the Officer in Charge. During this time his unit conducted undercover operations by the Neighborhood Enforcement Team; crime prevention and the implementation and facilitation of Neighborhood Watch programs conducted by the Community Services Unit; creative intervention and domestic violence prevention programs conducted by the Domestic Abuse Response Team; and, several other ancillary projects associated with public relations and community policing.
Larry was promoted to Captain in December 2009 and served as the Commanding Officer of the Uniform Patrol Division. Larry remained in this position until October 2011, when he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police where he currently commands the Neighborhood Services Bureau.
Larry graduated from the FBI National Academy class 223 in December of 2005. He has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Polk Community College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from Saint Leo University. He is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University and graduated from the Senior Management Institute for Police in July 2011.
Assistant Chief Mike Link
Assistant Chief Michael Link began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1985 as a Reserve Officer and became a full-time officer in March 1986. As an officer, Mike served in the Uniform Patrol Division, as a Field Training Officer, a member of the Street Crimes Unit, SWAT Team, and as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Division. Mike was promoted to Sergeant in February 1994 serving in the Uniform Patrol Division, Special investigations Section, Community Services and Crime Prevention Unit, and the Special Operations Section.
Mike was promoted to Lieutenant in June 2003 and served as a Shift Commander in the Uniform Patrol Division and as the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Section. In July 2006 Mike was assigned to the Special Operations Section as the Officer in Charge and in December 2010 Mike was transferred to the Special Investigations Section.
Mike was promoted to Captain in August 2010 and served as the Commanding Officer for the Investigative Services Division until October 2011 when he was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division as the Commanding Officer. Mike was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police on June 3, 2012 and now serves as the bureau commander for the Investigative Services Bureau.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from Saint Leo University and a Master of Science Degree from Saint Leo University in Criminal Justice. Mike is a graduate of the 249th session of the F.B.I. National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police Session 49, the F.D.L.E. Florida Criminal Justice Executive Institute Senior Leadership Program class 12, the Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives Development (LEEDA) Class 27, and the Florida State University Certified Public Manager Program.