LAKELAND, FL – (August 29, 2014) – Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas announced the kick-off for the Lakeland Police Chief search process and appointment of Advisory Committee to assist in the selection of the successor Chief
The City of Lakeland has engaged Mr. Ron Holifield, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Government Resource (SGR) to coordinate the Police Chief search process. SGR is one of the largest public sector recruiting firms in the nation, and is a recognized leader in Police Chief recruitment services. As part of the effort, Thomas asked Mr. Holifield to meet with Lakeland Police Department Employees, West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association leadership, Lakeland Neighborhood Association Coalition members, State Attorney Jerry Hill, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and the Mayor & City Commission to secure feedback in the qualities and expectations for the next Chief. That information has been incorporated into an Ideal Candidate Profile in which candidates for the position will be compared. Individuals interested in applying for the Lakeland Police Chief position are encouraged to visit www.SGRjobs.com<http://www.SGRjobs.com> for more information.
“The decision to undertake a national search for Lakeland’s next Police Chief is designed to allow the City to critically evaluate all candidates who are interested in the position and determine how they meet the current and future needs of the department and the expectations of law enforcement stakeholders and citizens,” said City Manager Doug Thomas. “The recruitment effort is by no means a reflection on the skills of Interim Chief Larry Giddens or any other internal or local candidates who might be interested in the position on a permanent basis. This process will enable all viable candidates to be compared to find the best of the best, which is what I desire in Lakeland’s Police Chief.” Under Lakeland’s Charter, the City Manager is responsible for appointing the Police Chief.
Thomas said, “As I have traditionally done with Department Head recruitment efforts, I have appointed an Advisory Committee comprised of diverse community leaders, stakeholders and subject matter experts as well as some internal staff to provide additional input in the selection process.” He added, “To that end, I am pleased that a variety of talented individuals have accepted my invitation to serve as Advisory Committee members to assist me in this very important process.”
Advisory Committee Members include:
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor: Over the course of her career, Chief Castor built a reputation for working side by side with residents, community leaders, business owners and neighboring law enforcement agencies to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in her community throughout her 30 year career. She was elected the first female president of a police academy class and 25 years later, became the first woman to lead the Tampa Police Department. She serves on the board of the Major City Chiefs Association and is a member of Harvard’s prestigious Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety.
Mary Smith: Prior to retiring in 2013, Ms. Smith served as Office Manager for Heartland Intergroup, a non-profit central office for Alcoholics Anonymous serving Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties. She has been an active community volunteer, serving as Dixieland Historic Neighborhood Association President from 2009-2012; Neighborhood Association Coalition Vice President in 2011; Neighborhood Association Coalition President in 2012; current member of the Dixieland Community Redevelopment Authority and a member of the 2013 Lakeland Police Advisory Commission.
Reverend Richard Richardson: Reverend Richardson has a diverse background in both for-profit and not-for-profit corporations. He has worked in senior management positions for Digital Equipment, Polaroid, and General Electric Corporation. He later built on these management skills and along with his wife started United Homes for Children, Inc. a not-for-profit Human Service Agency, serving children within the foster care division of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. He served on several Commissions under four Governors, including Supreme Court Commission Task force on Juvenile Justice, Department of Human Services Advisory Committee, Department of Youth Services Advisory Committee, and Chaired a Gubernatorial Human Services Transition Team. Reverend Richardson and his wife have resided in Lakeland since 2003. He is an Ordained Minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; a member of the Interdenominational Ministers Alliance (IMA) of Lakeland; and serves as a Commissioner of the Lakeland Housing Authority.
Stephanie Colon: Ms. Colon has been employed in the banking industry for 17 years and currently serves as Assistant Vice President of Business Banking at Community Southern Bank. She has actively volunteered on numerous civic boards and currently serves as Co-Chair of Emerge Lakeland, (a Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Central Florida Partnership for Young Professionals) and also serves on their Steering and Events Committees. She was recently recognized as one of the “Polk Emerging Leaders” showcasing young professionals ages 21-42 for their community service. She is also a recipient of the 2012 Girls Inc., “She Knows Where She’s Going” award, Leadership Lakeland Class XXX graduate and Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association, in addition to service with numerous other local boards and organizations.
Don Brown: Mr. Brown currently serves as President of the Lakeland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as well as the 3rd Vice President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP. He also currently serves as a Parent Outreach Coordinator with the Polk County School Board in addition to being a former educator, university recruiter for Bethune-Cookman University and retiree of the U.S Naval Reserve.
Tim Jackson: Mr.Jackson currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his role as Chairman, he served the Chamber as a member of their Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Vice-Chair Communications and Public Policy Committees. Tim has worked in the field of Construction Management and Real Estate Development since 1989. In 2005 he moved to Lakeland and joined NuJak Companies and serves a variety of public sector clients within the construction management and real estate sectors. He recently served as NuJak’s Project Executive in the partnership with Skanska USA on the construction of Florida’s new 12th public university, Florida Polytechnic University. He has been involved in numerous community organizations including service as Co-Chair of the 2013 Lakeland Police Advisory Commission, in addition to leadership roles with Habitat for Humanity, Lakeland Vision and the Polk Museum of Art. He is Leadership Lakeland Class XV graduate, and a member of the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association.
In addition to the above stakeholders, Thomas has also appointed the following City of Lakeland staff members to serve on the Advisory Committee:
Tim McCausland – City Attorney
Tony Delgado – Deputy City Manager
Brad Johnson – Assistant City Manager
Mark Farrington – Human Resources/Civil Service Director
SGR has previously announced the Lakeland Police Chief recruitment process on their job board and has been fielding inquiries from prospective candidates. The position will be officially posted this week and following a process of evaluating applicants with the assistance of SGR and the Advisory Committee, the final candidates that will be interviewed in Lakeland are expected to be announced in mid-to late November. The community and area stakeholders will be invited to meet the finalists as part of that process and a decision on the successor Chief is expected in early December.