Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack says she has support inside and outside the department

LAKELAND, Fla. - One week after Lakeland Police Department union members voted in favor of taking a formal "no confidence" vote regarding the police chief, the city's top cop is responding.

"I don't stress out about a whole lot of anything," responded Chief Lisa Womack when asked about the straw polls.

The chief has taken center stage and been in the cross hairs of State Attorney Jerry Hill ever since multiple scandals rocked her department. The scandals, one of which garnered national headlines due to its sexual nature, fractured the relationship city leaders have with Hill.

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Hill has publicly criticized Womack and will no longer accept testimony from a few of her officers that were caught up in the scandals.

Still, Womack's self-confidence regarding her job and abilities remains strong.

"I have a lot of support inside this police department. I have a lot of support in this community," she said.

LPD union members clearly feel otherwise.

Last week, members voted 33-30 in favor of taking a no confidence vote in regard to the city's top cop.

Still, there were some in support of Womack.



"A lot of people are blaming her for all the problems we have and I don't think that's fair," said Ofc. Patricia Phillips.

"We've gotten our accreditation back, which is basically saying we're doing something right," she said.

The vote does not appear to have rattled Womack who held her monthly Chief Chat at LPD headquarters Monday night.

Instead, she is interpreting it differently.

"I think that is a reaction of the employees and some of the frustrations that they have, from what I am hearing, outside of the police department," she explained.

The chief's reaction comes just hours after city commissioners decided to publicly meet with Hill about the Lakeland PD scandals. However, they want something in return.

Commissioners want to hold the meeting in Lakeland so locals can go. 

"Bottom line is, at the end of the day, this has to be worked out and cannot continue in its current form," said Mayor Gow Fields.

Fields noted that city commissioners and Hill have only communicated through the media.

"We need to have a meeting," Fields emphasized.

Womack declined to directly comment on that meeting. She did tell ABC Action News that if she is asked to help or contribute in any way, she will.

At this time, no date has been set for that meeting or for the formal "no confidence" vote.

 
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