LPD UPDATE SITE CREATED TO KEEP COMMUNITY INFORMED
LAKELAND, FL (August 2, 2013) — Mayor Gow Fields announces Maria Torres as a replacement member of the Lakeland Police Advisory Commission for Ana Rivera who cited expanding workload in organizing chamber events and recent medical news as her reasons for resigning. Torres will be introduced at the 3 p.m. Lakeland Police Advisory Commission meeting that will take place today at City Hall (228 S. Massachusetts Avenue).
Torres works as an Activities Coordinator/Resident Service Coordinator in a premier gated community. Torres is also a Spanish and Arts & Crafts instructor for the Wing Chun/Just Dance Summer Camp and Afterschool Program.
Torres is the President of Just Cares, Inc., a non-profit organization created to bring enrichment to peoples’ lives through art and educational programs. Torres is a State of Florida Notary Public and a member of the National Notary Association, also a graduate from the Lakeland Police Department Citizens Academy.
Torres said, “I enjoy working with others to help make a difference in people’s lives. This kind of giving back has always been close to my heart and I look forward to working with the Police Advisory Commission as we look at ways to restore trust within the Lakeland Police Department.”
Torres was appointed to replace Ana Rivera, the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Polk County president who resigned from the LPAC panel on Monday. Mayor Gow Fields said, “In a phone conversation on Monday, Ana shared with me that she and her husband were informed last Friday that he will be facing major surgery.” He added, “This along with her work schedule and the work for Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be too much for her to continue.”
The Lakeland Police Advisory Commission, appointed by Mayor Gow Fields, is a group of business and civic leaders who are charged with recommending specific actions to improve community trust with the Lakeland Police Department. The Advisory Commission is chaired by Bruce Abels and co-chaired by Tim Jackson. Among the tasks, they will be looking to see if cultural changes are needed and what steps may need to be taken to ensure that employees of the City of Lakeland feel comfortable about bringing complaints forward.
The Lakeland Police Department is currently conducting a series of internal investigations and as a way to keep the community informed, the City of Lakeland has compiled information pertaining to these investigations in one place. The Lakeland Police Advisory Commission has also been formed to define and answer questions concerning the recent controversies involving the Lakeland Police Department. The group will review policies, conduct research regarding the Department and suggest actions that can be taken to improve community trust. Materials requested by the Advisory Commission will also be shared with the community and published on this site. For more information regarding the Lakeland Police Advisory Panel and to learn more about the internal investigations, go to www.lakelandgov.net and click on the LPD Update button.