Community rallies to support L.P.D. - FOX 13 News

Community rallies to support L.P.D.

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LAKELAND (FOX 13) -

Dozens of people showed up at a rally at the Lakeland police department Saturday evening, to show support for members of the force.

More than a dozen city employees have been fired or resigned, after a department-wide sex scandal investigation.

Then last week, officer Julio Pagan was arrested for sexually battering a woman while on duty.

State attorney Jerry Hill says something has to change.

He says the scandals are compromising service to the people of Lakeland.

Hill sent a three-page letter to city manager Doug Thomas, outlining the issues within Lakeland, and recommending top to bottom changes.

Saturday's rally was held in response to that letter.

Residents who attended told Fox 13 they stand behind the men and women who serve in the department.

Neighborhood activist Deane Palmer says that there are many dedicated officers within the police department, and they should not be judged by the actions of the police officers named in the recent sex scandals.

"It's scandalous to tar everyone with those statements, but what is really important is that the citizens don't feel that way, we support LPD, we have pride in it, we have confidence in it," Palmer said.

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