Lakeland police officer has lengthy disciplinary file - WFLA News Channel 8

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Lakeland police officer has lengthy disciplinary file

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Officer Tyler Anderson trains other officers at the Lakeland Police Department on how to do their jobs. But his own disciplinary file is 585 pages long.

"When looking at discipline of that volume, the question becomes, "Is the officer effective, meaning is the public safe? Is the officer safe, are the officers working with that officer all safe?" asked Maria Kazouris, an attorney who represented a driver Anderson pulled over outside of his jurisdiction.

Earlier this month, a judge said Anderson's observations of what happened were "exaggerated." The judge ended up dismissing the case against the driver. In his order, the judge raised concerns about Anderson training other officers.

Kazouris was so worried after reading Anderson's disciplinary file - particularly accusations of excessive force - that she emailed a letter to Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack.

"In reviewing 585 pages of discipline, there were instances in that file that question his own knowledge of his duties," Kazouris said.

In her letter, Kazouris said: "That's quite the established history for an officer of 28 years old and a start date of July 7, 2008." Kazouris said she never heard back from the chief.

Anderson is the same officer who made the news last august for arresting a college student for spitting on the sidewalk. In that case, the student filed a complaint, claiming officer Anderson told him: "How would you like it, if I put the barrel of my gun to your head?"

His discipline in that case was to write an 8-page research paper on things like search and seizure and interpersonal skills.

This is the latest in what's been two hard weeks for the Lakeland Police Department. Officers have admitted to making women shake out their bras during traffic stops, falsifying documents and having sex while on duty.

6/20/2013 Related Story: FL investigates Lakeland police DUI procedures
6/20/2013 Related Story: Officials question Lakeland bra-shaking police search
6/26/2013 Related Story: Lakeland Police Department sex investigation

State Attorney Jerry Hill has investigated the police department for months and Wednesday said it is time for change within the department. The mayor and city manager say they still trust Chief Womack and want to give her time to finish internal investigations.

 

 

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