Under fire over scandals, LPD chief defends her leadership - FOX 13 News

Under fire over scandals, LPD chief defends her leadership

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

It was a long, difficult morning for Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack. She went before the city commission and a packed house at Lakeland City Hall to defend her agency and leadership in the wake of a sex scandal and other public relations disasters.

In the sex scandal, a state attorney's report says at least ten officers, many of them high up the chain of command, were sexually involved with the same female staffer, on duty and off.

She pointed out to commissioners that the scandal began long before she became chief two and a half years ago.

"There is nothing I can do to change the behavior. The bell has rung, and can't be unrung. But I can certainly be sure that those who have dishonored the L.P.D. badge and uniform will no longer be Lakeland Police officers," Womack said.

With that, the chief got a round of applause.

Commissioner Don Selvage posed the hardest questions. He said many people in Lakeland have lost confidence in the police department.

"Do you think that loss of confidence is justified?" Selvage questioned.

Womack responded, "I would imagine there would be a natural loss of confidence by some people. But do I believe there is a wholesale loss of confidence? From the people I have talked to, there is still a great deal of support for the P.D."

The morning meeting was just the start to Womack's day. She is holding a so-called "Chief's Chat" with members of the community tonight. FOX 13's Deborah Bowden is there and will have full coverage of the meeting starting at 10.

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