Lakeland PD chief addresses city commission over sex scandals

LAKELAND, Fla. - Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack addressed a packed city commission meeting Monday about a series of sex scandals that have rocked the department in the past few months.

"This bell cannot be unrung. But I can certainly make sure that those who have dishonored the Lakeland badge and police department, will no longer be Lakeland police officers," she said before the crowd.

The department is in the middle of an internal investigation, and in the midst of criticism from State Attorney Jerry Hill's office over a sex scandal and a questionable traffic stop.

"We do not fail to take a look at an issue, a hard look at an issue, when it is brought to our attention," Womack said.

Two Lakeland police officers are being looked at over a traffic stop that saw one of the officers directing a woman to shake her bra twice during a stop and search traffic incident.

Another incident has 10 officers, a civilian employee and a member of the Lakeland Fire Department being looked at for a sex scandal that involved the officers performing sex acts during on duty hours.

"Employees whether they're mine or anywhere else, did not make them because they're Lakeland Police officers, they made them in spite of being Lakeland Police officers. And I am appalled by that," Womack said as she implied that the problem was not caused by a lack of training, but rather officers that were not practicing good ethics.

Her speech lasted about an hour and a half, the first hour Chief Womack spent talking about the various training and management restructuring she instituted when she joined as the top cop a little more than 2 years ago.

"Lots of communication is going to happen. Restoring trust is one step at a time. and each of us is committed to doing that," Womack said to the commission.

Commissioners had the chance to comment on Womack's presentation, but no questions were asked by them or the public.

The public will have the chance to attend a public forum with the chief, Monday night at the Lakeland Police Department at 6 p.m.

 

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