A fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States is "equal protection of the laws." "Equal protection of the laws" means that the government must treat all persons who are similarly-situated in the same manner. A related constitutional right is the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
In recognition of these constitutional rights, the Lakeland Police Department prohibits the use of bias-based policing in its enforcement programs, including, but not limited to, traffic stops, field contacts, and asset seizure and forfeiture. In summary, except as provided in this policy, no person shall be singled out or otherwise treated differently on account of their race, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, age, or cultural group.
For a complete copy of the Lakeland Police Department's General Order addressing bias-free policing, please contact the Office of Professional Standards at (863)834-8907.