LAKELAND, Fla. - Dozens of people rallied on the steps of the Lakeland Police Department Saturday to counter all the negative criticism the department has been receiving in recent weeks.
Waving signs showing support for Police Chief Lisa Womack and criticizing State Attorney Jerry Hill, many of those at the rally were from neighborhood associations and community groups and disagreed with the notion that Lakeland police are not keeping the community safe.
The state attorney said that the city should consider replacing Chief Womack, and these demonstrators disagreed. "We were outraged at the continual onslaught that State Attorney Jerry Hill is stressing on the department and the Ledger's take on this. It's just scandalous," said Lakeland resident Deane Palmer.
"They protect us day and night and put their lives on the line and we want to show that we love them. We support them and we want things to stay like it is and let the chief do her job," said Lakeland resident Mickey Brown.
One resident said he's concerned because Chief Womack is Lakeland's first female police chief and that she's getting more criticism than she deserves considering that many of the scandals happened before she took over the department.