As LPD investigation begins, captain steps down - FOX 13 News

As LPD investigation begins, captain steps down

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

It's a department that has been rocked with scandal – from officers having sex on duty to questionable searches.

On Wednesday, investigators start getting to the bottom of it. A team of assessors will arrive at Lakeland police to examine all aspects of the department.

This goes hand-in-hand with an internal affairs investigation after revelations of a sex scandal. One of the department's captains that is part of that investigation has decided to retire.

As more details unfold, the entire department is under the microscope. Assessors with the Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation will begin looking into policies and procedures.

The department must comply with 87 standards in order to receive accredited status.

An internal affairs investigation is looking into the sex allegations. A criminal analyst with the department, Sue Eberle, said she was preyed upon. She said she dealt with forced sex, inappropriate touching and lewd photos sent to her over a seven-year period.

Captain John Thomason was one of several names listed in the allegations. He has written a letter to the police chief that he has decided to retire after 28 years.

Eberle has admitted to some consensual encounters with officers. She's now on paid leave. Her attorney says it's unlikely she'll have a future in law enforcement.

The department says it will not comment until the investigations are complete.

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