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This year the men and women of the Lakeland Police Department will celebrate and honor 130 years of law enforcement service to the citizens of Lakeland. It all began in 1885 when George F. Newell was elected as the first City Marshal. At the time he was the only law enforcement officer and the Tax Collector. 

Today there are over 350 sworn and civilian LPD team members working hard every day to keep our city safe and secure.  In commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the Lakeland Police Department, and to honor our fallen members that sacrificed their lives in the performance of duty, a special purpose badge was custom designed exclusively for LPD. The badges made at no cost to LPD and department members were able to self-purchase them if they chose so.  Chief Giddens has approved for
the badge to be worn by Sworn, PSA, and Chaplain members from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.  Non-sworn employees and retirees are also eligible to purchase coins and lapel pins and badges with some restrictions.


National Law Enforcement
Appreciation Day 


January 9th, 2015

Time:  5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Location:  Lakeland Police Department


The National Fraternal Order of Police has partnered with C.O.P.S. and law enforcement associations across America on a National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) scheduled for January 9th, 2015

In light of recent negativity directed toward law enforcement nationally, there is a need to show law enforcement officers that our citizens recognize the difficult and sometimes impossible career they have chosen, in public service to us all.

The Lakeland Police Department is a proud partner and supporter of the first National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, which will be held on January 9th, 2015! We are encouraging citizens to participate by coming to the Lakeland Police Department between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 pm this Friday to stand and wave in front of the police department.

We are calling on our community; those citizens who appreciate law enforcement and are discouraged about the negative attention being given to law enforcement to show their support.  You can be creative and make a poster or use one of our LPD Support paddles to display. Our citizens can show their support in several other ways such as:

·         See a police officer?  Thank a police officer

·         Wear blue clothing in support of law enforcement

·         Send a card of support to your local police department or state agency

·         Share a positive story about a positive law enforcement experience on social media

·         Ask children in your community to write letters in support of law enforcement

       (deliver/mail to LPD Station at 219 N. Massachusetts Ave, 33801)

·       Participate in Project Blue Light. Proudly display your blue porch light in support of law enforcement.


More information on National Law Enforcement Day is at:


UPDATE…UPDATE…On Domestic Violence Victim Stabbed 22 times

On Friday, January 09, 2015, at approximately 2:45 p.m. Agents with the U.S. Marshal’s Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force apprehended Theron Brown in Marion County Florida. The criminal investigation conducted with the M.F.R.F.T.F. and detectives with the Lakeland Police Department revealed Theron Brown had assumed a different identity and was hiding in the Ocala, Florida. He was apprehended without incident, and LPD Detectives are traveling to Marion County in an effort to complete their investigation. There are no additional details at this time

On January 4, 2015, at 11:09 p.m. the Lakeland Police Department received a call in reference to a stabbing. The victim was stabbed at 1234 jewel Avenue in her vehicle and she drove herself to the Chevron Station, 1615 W. Memorial Blvd for safety. An employee at the Chevron Station called 911 for the victim.

When the police arrived at the station, the victim was responsive and identified the suspect by name and as has her boyfriend for 1 year. The victim was transported to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and immediately taken into surgery. The victim had been stabbed 22 times with wounds to her head, chest, back and arms.

Patrol officers and detectives attempted to locate the suspect at his residence but he had fled the area. Detectives are currently in the process of obtaining a warrant for Attempted Murder.  The suspects address is not being released at this time due to a pending investigation.  If anyone has information on the location of the suspect, please contact the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.

This investigation is still ongoing at this time.

The victim has been identified as: Latoya Jean Schuler, 27 yrs old.

Suspect: Theron Brown, 4/14/78.

On January 1st, at approximately 5:30 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a disturbance call in the 600 block of W. 9th Street. A neighbor next door called 911 and reported that he could hear a female screaming, “Give me the gun” and he could also hear things being thrown around. The neighbor continued to tell the 911 operator that could hear a female saying “don’t do that” and he could tell she was crying. Responding officers could still hear the female pleading for help saying, “ Oh God, don’t do that”. Fearing the females’ life was in immediate danger, the officers announced to the dispatcher and responding officers that he was going to do forced entry. 

Shortly afterwards, the female ran out the back door and was quickly escorted off to the side. The suspect came running out the same back door with a firearm and Officer John Renew, was at the north east corner of the house. Officer Renew, using his flashlight to illuminate the suspect spotted an object being concealed under his clothing.  The suspect then produced a firearm and Officer Renew ordered him to drop it. The suspect began to turn towards Officer Renew with the firearm ignoring the officers’ commands to drop the firearm. At this time, Officer Renew fired one round at the suspect in fear of his life. The suspect was not hit by the round and he immediately dropped his weapon at which time he was taken into custody. The firearm, a semi-automatic, was found on the ground with one round in the chamber.

The victim has been dating the suspect for 2 months and they live together.  She stated that during the argument, the suspect point the firearm at her head, threatened to kill her and at one point, tried to strangle her.

The suspect is identified as: Martino A. Souffrant, Jr., dob, 10/6/80, West 9th Street, Lakeland. He has not been charged yet. 

The Violent Crimes Unit and State Attorney’s Office responded to the scene to investigate the shooting. The investigation is still ongoing at this time. 

The officer involved in the shooting has been identified as: Officer John Renew, 38 years old, employed since September, 2014. Per department policy, the officer will be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.