Questions arise over choice of Lakeland PD Interim Chief - WFLA News Channel 8

Questions arise over choice of Lakeland PD Interim Chief

Posted: Updated:
Jimmy Mock Jimmy Mock
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Some Lakeland commissioners are second-guessing the city manager's pick for an interim Lakeland police chief.

Others say the commission must back the man they chose to hire and fire.

The back-and-forth went down at the Lakeland City Commission meeting Monday morning.

Assistant Chief Larry Giddens is leading the force after Chief Lisa Womack was placed on administrative leave throughout an investigation into a 2012 hiring practice.

Larry Giddens is accused of making threatening statements to a retired officer of the department. And that man says Giddens does not have the character to lead a problem-ridden department.

Jimmy Mock is not in uniform these days, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with the Lakeland Police Department.

“It's a family tradition,” Mock said. “My dad retired in good standing, I retired in good standing and that's the way I would like it to go down in history."

But Mock says an interaction with Interim Chief Larry Giddens last year threatened his future with the department.

“He advised me that if I didn't stop posting on Facebook that I would lose my status in retirement of good standing,” Mock said.

Mock said Giddens warned him his continued negative Facebook posts about the department would also mean he would not be invited to the annual retiree dinner or would he be allowed inside the station, other than to file a complaint at the front desk.

It’s a situation that has some Lakeland leaders, including Mayor Howard Wiggs questioning the placement made by the City Manager.

“Anytime we have someone heading a department like the police department who has potentially done something rises to the point of an investigation, that concerns me,” Wiggs said.

Giddens is not allowed to comment about the investigation but a spokesman for the department said they are cooperating fully with the internal investigation. There’s no timeline on when it will be complete. It started in October.

Giddens, who began his law enforcement career with Lakeland Police Department in 1984 has earned numerous promotions and awards in his tenure, including Officer of the Year twice and TOP SWAT Cop in 1998.

Related Content: Lakeland Police Chief Womack resigns

  • NewsMore>>

  • Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Teen killed by stray bullet in Manatee shooting

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:53:32 GMT
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
    A shooting was reported at the intersection of the US Highway 301 and University Parkway early Monday morning where a 17-year-old was struck by a bullet and killed, Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Plane lands on Venice beach kills father, injures daughter, 9

    Plane lands on Venice beach kills father, injures daughter, 9

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:38:30 GMT
    Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.Man killed and his daughter was critical injured when they were hit by a plane making a crash landing on Caspersen Beach in Venice.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.
    An emergency landing by a small plane on Caspersen Beach in Venice claimed the life of a man walking with his young daughter Sunday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.
  • Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Automated car to take Scott for ride

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:37 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:37:02 GMT
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
    An automated car will take Florida Governor Rick Scott for a ride Monday, as Audi tries to sell the state on its latest technology.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.