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Lakeland Police will hold a swearing-in ceremony for Chief Larry Giddens on Monday, March 2, 2015, at City Hall Commission Chambers, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, Florida at 4:00 p.m. Chief Giddens will be introduced by City Manager Doug Thomas.

The swearing in ceremony will be streaming live on the City of Lakeland website and televised at a later date on our Lakeland Government Network, Channel 43 for Verizon FiOs and 643 for Brighthouse. The public and media are invited to attend. Due to limited space in City Hall we may need to utilize a pool camera if there is a large media attendance.

There will be a Meet and Greet reception at this location for City of Lakeland employees following the swearing in and the media is invited to attend as well. Chief Giddens will be available to answer media questions at the beginning of the reception. Time allowed for formal media questions will be limited as this event is designed to be a casual and warm welcome for our new Chief. 

Dear Property Owner/Manager,

Would you like to see a potential reduction of crime in your property and the City of Lakeland? It is the pleasure of the Lakeland Police Department to invite you to the FREE Seminar of Safe Watchful Active Neighborhoods (S.W.A.N.)

The Lakeland S.W.A.N. program is honest and direct. It is designed to be easy, yet very effective in reducing incidents of crime in rental properties. The program utilizes a unique three-part strategy which ensures the crime prevention goal, while maintaining an approach that is tenant-friendly. S.W.A.N. will educate property owners about crime prevention, applicant screening, drug nuisance abatement, along with many other benefits. After completion of the three-part program you will have access to resources and products that would have to be purchased otherwise. 

The first phase of the program is attending the seminar, all that you need to do is fill out and return the registration form.

March 10, 2015 
Lakeland Police Department – 2nd floor Community Room 
219 N. Massachusetts 
8:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

CLICK HERE to download a registration form

If you have any questions feel free to contact 863-834-6912. We hope to see you there!

Thank you, 

Cindy Sharp
Community Services Unit Supervisor

Mr. Woodruff was reported missing by his sister to the Lakeland Police Department on February 12, 2015. He was last seen on February 2, at the Relax Inn at 1433 Lakeland Hills Blvd. At the time, he was wearing a button up shirt, blue jeans and a zip up jacket (unk color). Woodruff has blue eyes, gray hair and is bald.

Woodruff has PTSD and schizophrenia and he refuses to take his medication. If Woodruff is confronted by anyone, he may become violent. If anyone knows his whereabouts, call the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900. 

On February 10, at 7:50 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a crash at S.R. 33 (HWY 33 N) at the intersection of Combee Road. The intersection is controlled by flashing traffic signals and posted signs. A vehicle driven by John M Zelle was northbound on S.R. 33. A vehicle driven by Clara C. Barber was westbound on Combee Road and turned in front of the vehicle driven by Zelle. It appeared to investigators that Barber was trying to make a left turn to head southbound on SR 33 when she proceeded into the path of Zelle who was driving a mini-van.

The collision resulted in the death of the right front passenger in Barbers vehicle. The deceased has been identified as Ricky Osborn Barber and he was pronounced deceased on the scene by a Lakeland Fire Department Paramedic. Next-of-kin has been notified. Ricky Barber did not have his seat belt on at the time of the traffic crash. The driver, Clara Barber was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) to be treated. Her condition is unknown at this time.

The driver of the mini-van, John Zelle was transported to LRMC for non-life threating injuries. A passenger in his vehicle, Eddy Fernandez sustained minor injuries and was treated at LRMC and later released.  

No charges have been filed and this crash is still under investigation.

Vehicle #1 – 2013 Dodge Avenger, 4door. Driven by Clara C. Barber 

Deceased – Ricky O. Barber 

Vehicle #2 – 1997 Chrysler Mini-van, driven by John M. Zella 

Passenger in Vehicle #2 – Eddy E. Fernandez