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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Citizen Compliment/Complaint FAQs

911-Related FAQs

  • When do I call 911?

    Any time immediate assistance is needed from the police department or medical personnel. If you see a crime occurring, please call 9-1-1 and do not try to take any action yourself; leave it up to the professionals.

  • Why do 911 Operators ask so many questions?

    9-1-1 call-takers are trained to ask a series of questions designed to allow them to “see” what is happening at the scene in order to accomplish three essential tasks.

    First, they want to ensure the proper resources are dispatched to the emergency situation right away.

    Second, they want to identify possible hazards and threats to police, fire, and paramedic responders in order to keep them safe.

    Third, they want to determine potential threats to the caller or those at the scene and provide pre-arrival instructions to help ensure the caller’s safety.

    All of this occurs while officers and firefighters are responding to the emergency and receiving updated information from your answers.

  • How do I speak to an officer for a non-emergency?

    You can speak to an officer by calling our non-emergency line at 863.834.6900 or visiting our station lobby which is open 24/7.

  • How do I know if I’m in the City of Lakeland city limits?

    You can use the City of Lakeland Address Lookup tool to determine if your address is in City of Lakeland city limits or in Polk County.

Traffic FAQs

  • What should I do if I am involved in a traffic crash?

    If you are involved in a traffic crash you should first stop and check if there are any injuries and then remain at the scene. If possible you should then move the vehicles off the roadway to allow traffic to flow; there is NO law in Florida that prohibits you from moving your vehicle out of the roadway after a crash. 

    If the crash involves injury, a drunk driver, a hit and run with suspect information, or if your vehicle is disabled requiring a tow, you need to notify the police immediately. If you are involved in a crash with total damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500, there are no injuries, and vehicles are driveable, you are still required to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. 

    If the total damage is less than $500, it is not necessary to report the accident, however, you should exchange driver information among the parties involved in the accident. This information should include; your driver’s license, current vehicle registration and current proof of insurance.

  • I saw someone commit a traffic violation and got a picture of their license plate. Can I send that to the police department to investigate?

    No. We cannot take an image of a car violating a law, identify the driver, and go to that person’s house to initiate a report. Secondly, law enforcement officers need a sworn statement from a witness and/or to witness the act themselves in order to be able to charge someone with a crime.

    To report someone committing a traffic violation as it is happening, please call 911 or dial *FHP to connect with Florida Highway Patrol. DO NOT take photos or videos while driving, and do not interact with the driver in question.

  • Will the Lakeland Police Department tow an abandoned car?

    The police department can only have vehicles towed that are on public property. Call a wrecker service in your area and the vehicle will be towed away at no expense to you. The wrecker service will notify the owners once they have determined ownership.

  • How do I report specific traffic issues in my area?

    You can email mediarelations@lakelandgov.net with your concern, as well as your contact information, and it will be forwarded to the Traffic Unit.

Court-Related FAQs

Reporting FAQs

Records-Related FAQs

  • How can I get a copy of a police report?

    The Lakeland Police Department maintains police reports and records for our agency only. 

    Requests for copies of a police report or traffic crash report should be directed to:

    Lakeland Police Department
    Records Section
    219 N Massachusetts Ave
    Lakeland, FL 33801

    LPD records requests will be processed in accordance with the Florida Public Records Act. A fee will be charged for copies of all reports or information requested.

  • How do I get a copy of an Accident Report?

    Traffic crash accident reports may be requested within 60 days of the accident. You must complete a sworn statement and have it notarized prior to receiving the report.

    Click here to download the Sworn Statement.

Health-Related FAQs

Child-Related FAQs

  • Can an officer interview my child at school without notifying the parent/guardian in advance?

    If the child is a suspect in a criminal case, the officer must make every effort to contact the parent or guardian prior to interviewing the child. If the officer cannot make contact with the parent, they can proceed with interviewing your child. It is important that parents keep the “Parent Notification Card” updated with their contact information.

    If the child is not a suspect, but the reportee or witness, the officer does not have to contact the parent prior to interviewing the child.

  • How can I get a car seat installation/inspection?

    You’ll need to contact the Community Service Unit to set up an appointment. You can call Cindy Sharp at 863.834.6912.