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On April 14, the Lakeland Police Department received information from the victim’s mother that her son was engaged in sexual activity with his English teacher who is employed at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, 4141 Medulla Road, Lakeland, Florida. The English teacher has been identified as Jennifer Christine Fichter, 29 years of age. It was discovered that the victim, 17 years of age and Fichter had been texting each other with Fichter using two different alias’ and later meeting in the early morning hours for sex in the parking lot of the Reserve Apartments, 4920 State Road 33, Lakeland. The sexual encounters occurred in Fichters vehicle.

 

The victim’s mother discovered this relationship after reviewing text messages from her son and she asked that Fichter respond to her residence to talk. According to the victim’s mother, Fichter admitted to the sexual encounters and professed her love for him.

The victim admitted to his involvement with detectives saying that they met for sex a total of 3 times at the Reserve Apartments and 3 times at another location off of New Tampa Highway within the city limits. In addition, the victim admitted to sex numerous times outside the cities jurisdiction and within the jurisdiction of Polk and Hillsborough County. These incidents are currently under investigation by both agencies who assisted in the investigation.

Jennifer Christine Fichter was arrested at her residence at 11:40 p.m., and later transported to the Polk County Jail. Fichter has been charged with Unlawful Sexual Activity With A Minor (6 counts).


On Thursday, April 17, 2014, officers from the Lakeland Police Department, along with other local agencies, will participate in the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. The run is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Runners will make their way from the Southgate Publix to the Lake Miriam Publix.

In 1981, Chief Richard LaMunyon, Wichita, KS, had an idea to get Law Enforcement involved and raise awareness for Special Olympics and from there the Torch Run was established. The International Association of Chiefs of Police adopted the program and is recognized as the founding organization of the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. Lakeland Police officers have participated in the Torch Run since its inception and have raised funds for Special Olympics through the Torch Run and other special events.

Please leave extra time to travel on S. Florida Avenue during the Torch Run as only one (1) lane will be open while the runners make their way to finish line.


This year, April 6 – 12, 2014 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The theme this year is “30 Years – Restoring the Balance of Justice”. Lakeland Police Department is committed to helping victims of crimes in our community in a variety of ways: 

  24 hours a day, 7 days a week availability of staff or volunteers to go to crime scenes, hospital, or other designated locations
  Crisis Intervention - at the crime scene or the hospital
  Assistance with completing restitution request
  Court escort
  Criminal court orientation
  Transportation for services related to the initial victimization
  Assistance with filing victim compensation claims
  Assistance with property return
  Accompaniment to line-ups
  Interviews and photo pack review
  Death notification

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “About 50 percent of violent crimes are not reported, and only a fraction of victims receive the help they need.” We are working to assist all victims of crime in our community and provide information on the resources available. If you become a victim of crime, you want to know what your rights are and where you can go for assistance, Lakeland Police Department Victim Assistance personnel are there to help.

For more information on Victim Compensation, visit www.myfloridalegal.com.



Lakeland Police Participate in the First National Texting Enforcement Crackdown

Motorists from all over the country are reminded that from April 10-15, 2014, law enforcement personnel will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text while driving. This effort is a part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement (HVE) campaign that combines periods of intense enforcement of anti-texting laws with advertising and media outreach to let people know about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.

“People need to know that we are serious about stopping this deadly behavior,” said Sergeant Chad Mumbauer. “Driving and texting has reached epidemic levels, and enforcement of our state texting law is part of the cure.”

In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and 421,000 injured nationwide in distraction-affected crashes. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

The successes of the Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns have proven that the combination of tough laws, targeted advertising, and high-visibility enforcement can change people’s risky traffic safety behaviors. This strategy was implemented as part of the Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other distraction demonstration effort in Hartford, Connecticut, and Syracuse, New York, in 2010 and 2011, and then to Delaware and Sacramento County in 2012 and 2013. In both projects, texting (and cell phone use) declined dramatically. Based on these encouraging results, DOT has developed the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. national campaign.

The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign is national in scope, and States that applied and that have primary enforcement of their text messaging laws were awarded approximately $8 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to support this and other efforts designed to fight distracted driving. The national U Text. U Drive. U Pay. enforcement blitz is also supported by an $8.5 million national advertising campaign, designed to raise awareness about the enforcement effort and remind people about the deadly consequences of driving and texting.

For more information, please visit www.distraction.gov.