TONY KIRK WITHDRAWS APPLICATION AS ASSISTANT CHIEF WITH THE LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT
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LAKELAND, FL (February 27, 2015) - The City is disappointed to inform the community that Tony Kirk has withdrawn his application as Assistant Chief of the Lakeland Police Department.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.”