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LPD PIO
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On June 28th, the mother of an 11 year old called the Lakeland Police Department after she discovered disturbing text messages between her child and his teacher from this past school year. The arrestee, Alecia Dotson, 45 yrs old, is employed by the Polk County School Board as a Paraprofessional at Highlands Grove Elementary where the victim attended as a 5th grade.

There were approximately 100 text messages sent back and forth between the two. On June 28, Dotson sent a text message to the victim asking to pick him up and take him to the library. The mother decided to check her son’s cell phone and discovered several inappropriate text messages sent to her son. While the Lakeland Police was at the mothers house conducting an investigation, Dotson again sent a text message saying, “Love bug what are you doing” and “I’ll be sure to tell her we won’t have sex on the first visit…LOL.”

The Special Victims Unit began an investigation on June 29th and had control of the victim’s cell phone. On June 30th, Dotson sent another text message asking the victim “Are you awake love bug?” Dotson, believing she was talking to the victim when in fact it was detectives, arranged a meeting with him at the Cinemark Movie Theater for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual conduct. Prior to arriving at the theater, Dotson stopped and picked up a bottle of strawberry warming lubricant from Spencer’s at the Lakeland Mall. Dotson was taken into custody after she showed up as planned at the Lakeland Mall.

Dotson stated that over the last three weeks the relationship between her and the victim evolved from a “Mentorship” to a “Crush” and then a “Romantic relationship.”  Based on the investigation, Dotson was charged with:

 

·       Sexual Battery (attempt) under 12- (2 counts)

·       Use Computer Device to Solicit a Child

·       Traveling to Meet a Minor

·       Unlawful Use of Communications

 Dotson was later transported to the Polk County Jail on June 30th.


Early Reminder For "Coffee With The Chief"

Have you ever wanted to ask the Chief of Police a question, but didn’t know how to go about doing it? The Chief along with the staff from the Lakeland Police Department will be available to answer questions from members of the community in a casual setting while enjoying a cup of coffee.  “Coffee with the Chief” will be a reoccurring event taking place on Tuesday every three months at various locations.

The “Coffee with a Chief” program is a unique way to strengthen the partnership between the police department and the community and we will discuss special projects, and other related events. Members of the community will be able to ask specific or general questions related to the neighborhoods they live in. Coffee will be provided at no expense.

All community members are invited to attend.

The event is from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 .a.m. on Tuesday, July 14th at: The Coleman Bush Building,  1104 Martin L King Jr Avenue


The Lakeland Police Department is pleased to announce the promotions of nine members of the department. Chief Larry Giddens announced the promotions and said “It’s a challenging time for law enforcement across the nation, but within those challenges lies great opportunity. These officers have dedicated themselves to this community and the law enforcement profession.  I am very proud of each of these officers and have every confidence in their abilities”. Chief Giddens along with the department’s command staff are dedicated to remaining responsive to the growing diversity of our community and are ensuring that with these promotions we continue to reflect the community we serve and protect.

The promotions will include two Hispanic males and one African American male.

The promotional ceremony will take place on July 10th at 3:00pm, at the First United Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Drive. The media and public are welcomed to attend.

The promotions are:

Assistant Chief Victor White

Victor White began his service with the Lakeland Police Department in 1983 after serving as a Military Policeman in the United States Army. He currently is the Commanding Officer of the Investigative Services Division. Victor has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Critical Incident Management from Saint Leo University. He is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University. He is a graduate of the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander Academy (DUCA), the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy 239th session (FBINA), the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Florida Executive Development Seminar (FEDS).

Assistant Chief Ruben Garcia

He began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1987 after returning home from four years of honorable service in the United States Marine Corps. Ruben Garcia, will hold the distinction of being the first Hispanic officer to be appointed to the rank of Assistant Chief. He is currently assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Uniformed Patrol Division.  Ruben has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from St. Leo University and has completed the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Senior Leadership Program through Florida State University and the State of Florida Certified Public Manager Program and Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP). He is a certified criminal justice high liability instructor in both firearms and defensive tactics.

 

Captain Sammy Taylor

 

Sammy Taylor began his career with the Lakeland Police Department in 1989. He has served as a Lieutenant in the Uniform Patrol Division, Communications, as well as in his current position in the Criminal Investigations Division. Sammy graduated from Polk Community College in 1981 with an A.A. degree, and the University of South Florida in December 1993 with a B. A. in Criminal Justice. Sam received his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Troy State University in December 0f 2002 with a concentration in national security issues. Sammy completed the Certified Public Manager course and received the CPM designation from Florida State University in 2009. He is a 2011 graduate of the Southern Police Institute (SPI) at the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY.

Captain Hans Lehman

 

Hans Lehman began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1996. His interest in law enforcement was first sparked in 1984 when he started at LPD as a Police Explorer at the age of 14.  He currently supervises the Community Services Section consisting of the Community Services Unit, Police Athletic League and School Resource Officers. He has Bachelor of Arts degree from Stetson University and a Master’s of Science from Troy University.  He has also attended police command schools, the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville and the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston. Hans is a nationally certified Drug Recognition Expert/Instructor.

Lieutenant Brent Addison

Brent Addison began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1994. He has served on the S.W.A.T for 18 years and is currently the Sniper Team Leader.  Brent is currently assigned as a sergeant in the Uniform Patrol Division. He has an A.A. degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working g on his Bachelor’s degree.

Lieutenant Mark Melius

Mark Melius began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1990. He has worked numerous assignments throughout his career and most notably, his time as a detective working auto thefts where he was awarded Detective of the Year in 1999 and the Chiefs Award.  Mark is currently assigned as a sergeant in the Uniform Patrol Division. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

Sergeant Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 2001 after serving three and one-half years with the Auburndale Police Department.  Brian has been assigned to the Criminal Investigations Section for 9 years were he garnered numerous awards. He is currently assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit working homicide cases.  Brian holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida.

Sergeant Jasper Yzaguirre

Jasper Yzaguirre began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 1995 as a records clerk where he worked 2 years and then he transferred to communications as a police dispatcher for 5 years. In 2002, Jasper was hired as a police officer.  He is currently assigned to the Special Investigations Section working street level crimes, such as, prostitution and drug complaints.  Jasper is also a member of the S.W.A.T team and he has an Associate Science degree in Criminal Justice.

 Sergeant Joe Parker

Joe Parker began his career at the Lakeland Police Department in 2006. Joe served in the Army assigned to the 82d Airborne Division as an Infantry Paratrooper. Joe is a member of the S.W.A.T team and he is currently assigned to the Special Investigations Section working street level crimes, such as, prostitution and drug complaints.  Joe is working on his Associates degree.

 

 

 


 

The Lakeland Police Department arrested William McGee in reference to the Attempted Sexual Battery that occurred on May 19th at Lake Hollingsworth. The Special Victims Unit worked the case following up on numerous leads which lead to the identity of the suspect. Detectives were able to get DNA samples from items the suspect had touched and yesterday, LPD was notified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that it was match to McGee.

Detectives located McGee early this morning and interviewed him at which time he confessed. He spoke to detectives at Lake Hollingsworth this morning about the attempted sexual battery. He has been charged with Kidnapping and Attempted Sexual battery. We appreciate all tips and help from the community in getting McGee off the street and in jail.