We are now accepting applications for the 2010 Citizens Police Academy that starts on August 19 and graduates November 18. This year's academy will be on Thursday evenings from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at the police station. Visit our CPA website for more information.
To apply, complete a 2010 CPA application and mail it to the address listed on the application.
Class size is limited to approximately 50, so we encourage you to apply early.
- Asst Chief Bill LePere
LakelandPD celebrated the exceptional service of our members in 2009 during our annual awards presentation last night. Recognized for their actions included members receiving Meritorious Service Awards and Lifesaving Awards, as well as naming the Officer of the Year, Detective of the Year, and Civilian of the Year.
Officer of the Year went to Officer Mark Eby for his courage during an encounter with an armed subject threatening suicide. Officer Eby was forced to give up his location of cover and approach the armed subject on foot who deliberately aimed a shotgun at him. The personal courage required to face such imminent danger is part of what makes Mark such a respected member of our organization. We applaud his willingness to expose himself to a lethal threat in order to keep our community safe.
Detective of the Year went to Detective Jim O'Neill with our Criminal Investigations Section. Det. O'Neill works frauds for us and is known as someone who will take a single case and follow all available leads to the point that he often ends up with multiple new cases that spin off from the original crime. Jim was recognized for a case where the suspect not only defrauded a local bank using a stolen credit card but subsequent investigative efforts revealed the same suspect, originally from California, used the stolen card in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and St. Petersburg. The investigation did not stop there. Additional evidence showed the card was also used in New Hampshire and New York. The total take was estimated to be $37,000. Tenacity and attention to details, including two latent fingerprints lifted from a fraudulent receipt in New York, helped bring this case to a successful conclusion.
Civilian of the Year recognition went to two Crime Prevention Practitioners in our Community Services Unit. CPP Anna Ricks and CPP Cindy Sharp were named Co-Civilians of the Year for their tireless efforts to conduct crime prevention programs throughout the community. In addition to working with local Neighborhood Watch Groups, Ms. Ricks and Ms. Sharp were involved in planning and conducting such events as National Night Out, Citizens Police Academy, Cops for Kids Christmas program, LPD Open House, Back to School Bash, Red Ribbon Week, and the Amscot Bike Helmet giveaway just to name a few. These dedicated professionals work hard to demonstrate that "by working together we can make a difference."
We could not be more proud of our department if we wanted to be. It is indeed an honor to attend these award ceremonies and listen to the cases for which we bestow awards. This is not to suggest that other acts of courage, dedication, and commitment do not occur everyday here, but these are truly the cream of the crop. Our congratulations to the award winners.
- Asst Chief Bill LePere