LPD Rolls Out New DUI Enforcement Vehicle
The new 2013 Ford Explorer-Police Interceptor is equipped with a brand new Intoxilyzer 8000 inside the vehicle which provides a decrease in total investigation time due to being able to conduct the entire investigation at the scene including the breath test. This instrument was donated to the Lakeland Police Department by Impaired Driving Education & Awareness (I.D.E.A) represented by Mrs. Elizabeth Sheetz. I.D.E.A. is a non-profit organization that “has been formed to foster education and increase public awareness of the dangers and consequences of impaired driving with the goal to reduce the number of traffic crashes that result from impaired driving.”
With the extra space in this vehicle, we have also equipped it with the basic traffic equipment needed in order to conduct serious traffic crash investigations at the scene, which in return will allow us to release the patrol units to their normal duties, such as, answering calls for service and crime prevention.
The main purpose of this vehicle is to be able to decrease the investigation time by approximately 45 minutes which will allow more enforcement time. With more enforcement time, we can also be more proactive and effective with our deterrence of impaired drivers. By doing so, we hope to not only see a decrease in impaired drivers but also with crashes involving impaired drivers.
This Ford Explorer is the first of its kind to be equipped for these purposes in this region, and possibly the state. This Ford Explorer is the first one to be placed in service by the Lakeland Police Department and has also been equipped with the newest camera system, the newest ION LED emergency lights, and a laser printer, in addition to the equipment already stated above.
The setup and customization of this vehicle was collaboration between the LPD DUI unit, Keith Bennett-LPD Fleet Manager, and Richard Weissinger from Bartow Ford.
The new vehicle was issued on Thursday, May 9, 2013 and on that same night the first 2 DUI arrests were made. The vehicle will be in full service starting Friday, May 17, 2013.
Police Investigating Armed Bank Robbery
On Monday, May 13, 2013, at approximately 11:15 a.m., Lakeland Police responded to the Wells Fargo Bank located at 4405 S. Florida Avenue in reference to an armed bank robbery. Upon arrival officers were told that a black male entered the bank, produced a handgun and told everyone to lay on the floor. The suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect was last seen heading south on foot.
The suspect is described as a black male approximately 6’, with a medium to heavy build. He was wearing black pants, a long sleeve green shirt, sunglasses and a hat.
The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information on the identification of the suspect is asked to contact Lakeland Police Detective Pough at 863-834-8978, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.
Crime Stoppers Bulletin
Officer Cortes Presented Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving
On May 3rd and 4th, 2013, the 13th Annual MADD Law Enforcement Symposium & Recognition Dinner was held in Tampa, Florida. Officer Carlos Cortes was presented the “MADD Hero Drugged Driving Enforcement Award” at the dinner. Officer Cortes was nominated for this award for helping the LPD/DUI Unit better protect our citizens by setting procedures on how we package evidence, document certain types of cases, and prosecute “Drugged Drivers”. He researched labs that would conduct tests for synthetic drugs, and located NMS labs. He then contacted NMS, met with LPD Property &Evidence personnel, confirmed a shipping route, and sent samples for testing. A procedure has been put in place and the DUI unit can better enforce this new trend of impaired driving.
Congratulations to Officer Cortes on a job well done!