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.