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On November 20, 2014 at approximately 8:00 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of Palmetto Street and Clayton Avenue in reference to a group of suspicious juveniles with back packs. The caller advised they were throwing trash into the street and walking up into the homeowner’s property.  Officer Troy Smith who responded to the area observed two juveniles at the corner of Lexington Street and Ingraham Avenue. After the juveniles spotted the marked patrol cars, they fled north bound. Ofc. Troy Smith then observed one of the juvenile identified as Jernarious Lamar at 816 Ingraham Avenue jump a fence and he left behind a black backpack on the ground. Lamar fled again from another officer on Lexington Street and was later apprehended by at 700 South Ingraham Avenue after being spotted by an officer on the perimeter.

 

The black backpack dropped by Lamar contained stolen property from 1035 Lexington Avenue. Several other items stolen from this residence was found nearby on the ground. While Lamar was being booked-in at the Lakeland Police Department, officers located stolen property from Lexington in his pocket.

 

Detectives are currently working the case in an attempt to identify the other suspects and any other possible burglaries in the area. All of the stolen property from 1035 Lexington was recovered and returned back to the victim.

 

Arrested:  Jernarious Lamar, 16 yrs of age, 618 N. Grady Avenue, Lakeland, Fla.

Charges: Burglary to Unoccupied Dwelling

               Grand Theft

               Resisting Arrest W/O Violence


On November 18, 2014 at 6:09 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle at 700 N. Florida Avenue. Samuel Free, the driver of the 2000 Dodge pick-up was traveling south of Florida Avenue in the outside lane. Free advised that he did not see the pedestrian walking east to west crossing North Florida Avenue. Free struck the pedestrian and immediately activated his brakes coming to a final resting point 60 feet from point of impact at the crosswalk on Florida Avenue at Parker Street. Roadway evidence shows that the pedestrian was not within a marked crosswalk area at the time of the accident. Impairment, speed, and distraction did not appear to play a factor in the crash.

 

The pedestrian was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and later succumbed to her injuries.  The pedestrian has been identified as; Lois P. Smith, 65 yrs old, 416 E. Parker Pl, Lakeland, Florida. Next-of-kin has been notified. The drive of the truck, Samuel Free was not injured and was not charged with any violations. The crash investigation will be turned over to a Traffic Crash Homicide Investigator for a follow-up investigation.


The Lakeland Police Department SWAT Team participated in the 32nd annual International SWAT Roundup at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office training facility from November 9-14, 2014. There were a total of 52 teams participating in this event from around the world.

The SWAT Roundup consists of several competitive events over a five day period with a different event taking place each day. The competition is timed with the best time overall winning the entire event. Teams are penalized and additional time added on to an event for missed shots or other errors. These events mimic the stress associated with real life police situations and train officers to work successfully and efficiently under situations that may be encountered at any given time on the job. The five events are: Hostage Rescue, Pritcher Scramble, Officer Rescue, Tower Scramble and Obstacle Course. 

The officers that are selected to compete in these events train year round on a consistent basis. To finish in first place takes dedication and commitment from each member of the team and the Lakeland Police Department as a whole.

The First Place Team Members are:

Sergeant Pat Guity
Sergeant Bob Bernhardt
Sergeant Brent Addison
Sergeant Bryan McNabb
Detective Jasper Yzaguirre 
Detective Mike Glass
Officer Kolby Hodge
Officer Preston Chatmon

This is the sixth time that the Lakeland Police Department has won this prestigious competition dating back to 2000. This is the first time that LPD has taken 1st place in the Obstacle Course, so this was a great accomplishment for this team! The other awards achieved by this team were: 1st Place in Officer Rescue and 3rd Place in Hostage Rescue.

The Lakeland Police Department is proud of these officers who represent our members not only in this competition, but day to day in their regular duties protecting our community. This award is representative of the commitment of these officers as individuals and the ability of our members to work together on teams. The citizens of Lakeland can feel safer knowing they have the best SWAT Team in the nation protecting them from harm.



The Lakeland Police Department wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket this holiday season. Each year, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times, millions of people will be travelling to visit with family and friends. What this means is that there will be more vehicles on the roads, and more danger as we travel. It is always important to buckle up, but when there are the additional vehicles on the roads, it is more important than ever. We want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season; therefore the Lakeland Police Department will join with departments across the state in the Click It or Ticket Safety Belt Enforcement Wave. The enforcement runs from Monday, November 17, 2014 through Sunday, November 30, 2014 at midnight.

Nationwide, seat belt usage is at an all-time high of 87 percent, but the Click It or Ticket campaign aims to reach that remaining 14 percent. In 2012, there were 10,335 unbuckled occupants killed in crashes—52 percent of all passenger vehicle occupants killed that year. At night, the numbers are even more disturbing. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2012, law enforcement noted that 69 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were unrestrained, as compared to 46 percent during the day. 

The single best thing anyone can do to protect themself and save lives is to buckle up. It only takes a second!

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.