City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.


LAKELAND, FL (September 2, 2015) - The Lakeland Police Department is joining the Drug Enforcement Administration in the 10th Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day where citizens who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs may bring them to the Lakeland Police Department (219 N. Massachusetts Avenue) on Saturday, September 26, 2015 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Those unable to attend the September 26th event can still properly get rid of unwanted medications by using the secure prescription drug drop box located in the Lakeland Police Department lobby. The City of Lakeland Water Department would like to remind citizens to not flush unwanted drugs down the toilet because flushing medications leads to water pollution.

Previous prescription medication collections held in Polk County have resulted in over 1,700 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals. All recovered medications were incinerated. 

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. According to the 2013 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 24.6 million Americans are illicit drug users. Each day, thousands of teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

Benefit Basketball Game with LakelandPD Officers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Alumni

Save the date! On Saturday, August 22 at 7 PM officers with the Lakeland Police Department will take on alumni Tampa Bay Buccaneers players in a game of basketball. The game will take place in the Lakeland Senior High School gymnasium. 

Admission: $10 - Adults, $5 - Students and Children under 12 are free.

All proceeds will benefit our Lakeland PAL Youth League.


Lakeland Police Department Promotion Ceremony


LAKELAND, FL (July 8th, 2015)


A promotion ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, July 10, 2015, at 3:00 pm, in the First United Methodist Church Wesley Center (new building), located at 72 Lake Morton Dr. Lakeland, Florida 33801. 


Captains Ruben Garcia and Victor White will be promoted to Assistant Chief of Police, Lieutenants Hans Lehman and Sammy Taylor will be promoted to Captain, Sergeants Brent Addison and Mark Melius will be promoted to Lieutenant, and Officers Joseph Parker, Richard “Brian” Wallace, and Jasper Yzaguirre will be promoted to Sergeant at this time.




Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.



There will be a press conference at the Lakeland Police Department (219 N. Massachusetts Avenue) in room 3A at 3 p.m

LAKELAND, FL (February 27, 2015) - The City is disappointed to inform the community that Tony Kirk has withdrawn his application as Assistant Chief of the Lakeland Police Department. Kirk was scheduled to start on Monday, March 2nd. Kirk communicated with Chief Giddens earlier this morning that he was withdrawing his application for Assistant Chief of Police effective at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 27th.

Background investigations for police officers are rigorous and Kirk went through a thorough background check for the Assistant Chief position. It was only during the final stages of the new hire process when inconsistencies involving Kirks’s application arose. Kirk explained that he inadvertently indicated that he had never tried marijuana on his internal new hire paperwork, however during the polygraph process he admitted to trying marijuana when he was 20 years old. The use of marijuana so many years ago would not prevent employment with the Lakeland Police Department. However the inconsistencies between the new hire forms and his later admissions regarding marijuana use triggered concerns.

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “This is a very unfortunate incident and we were looking very forward to Kirk joining our team but our law enforcement personnel are held to a high standard and as insignificant as it may sound, inaccuracies between his application and the polygraph process automatically disqualifies a candidate to move forward.” He added, “I wish we weren’t in this situation and I’m truly saddened for Tony and his family under the circumstances that we now find ourselves in.”

Larry Giddens, Chief of Police said, “I’m deeply disappointed that we came so far and this is an unfortunate conclusion to what I thought was going to be a very good addition to our team at the Lakeland Police Department.” He added, “The Lakeland Police Department is full of honorable men and women and we will continue to move forward in making this Department the very best it can be.”