City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

Cuteness Overload - Officer Dea Chatmon Makes Future Officers Day!

Cuteness Overload - Officer Dea Chatmon Makes Future Officers Day!

This handsome little guy named Elijah got to try out some cool police equipment thanks to LakelandPD Officer Chatmon. Also pictured is Elijah's father, Adam, a Polk County Fire Rescue Firefighter.

Thank you gentlemen for you service to our residents - Elijah has two great role models to look up to!

Officer Cortes Makes Little Girl's Birthday Extra Special.

Officer Cortes Makes Little Girl's Birthday Extra Special.

Talissa Enochs wrote:
"We took Tori out to eat for her birthday. She was wearing a birthday sash and twirling around in front of the police officer. He told her Happy Birthday and her face just lit up! We went on to order our food and the officer left. He then came back with a stuffed animal to give to her! He said she was just too cute not to go get her something!!! What a blessing to have such awesome officers in our community!"

Thank You Officer Cortes for being YOU and showing us the great things law enforcement officers do everyday.


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LAKELAND, FL (February 27, 2015) - The City is disappointed to inform the community that Tony Kirk has withdrawn his application as Assistant Chief of the Lakeland Police Department.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.”


Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Lakeland Police Department Citizens Academy. Classes will begin on Thursday, August 13, 2015 and conclude on November 19, 2015 with a graduation ceremony. This in-depth academy runs for fifteen (15) consecutive weeks with classes meeting every Thursday night from 6:30PM - 9:30PM. An additional firearms familiarization course is also covered one Saturday where participants will be given a chance to test their skills at the firing range.

The Citizens Police Academy (CPA) is designed for selected community-oriented citizens. The CPA includes detailed information on police topics such as uniformed patrol, special investigations (i.e., vice and narcotics), crime scene investigation, SWAT, K9 and many other areas of interest. Also included in the curriculum is a tour of the police station and communications center.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. You do not have to reside within the city of Lakeland to be accepted.

Although graduates of the CPA are not prepared for street duties, they do have a better understanding of the Lakeland Police Department and a greater awareness and appreciation of the challenges and decisions faced by Lakeland police officers each day.

The Lakeland Police Department is committed to fostering positive Citizen-Police interaction and cooperation. One effective way to achieve this goal is through citizen education into the philosophy of community-oriented policing.

Click here to download an application.