Overall, Lakeland is a safe place to live and the crime rate has been trending downward for several years in a row. However, there is always room for improvement and my goal is to improve public safety in ALL of Lakeland’s neighborhoods. As a former law enforcement officer, I have both a deep respect and kinship with our men and women in uniform.
Our police officers do an excellent job protecting life and property within our city but they cannot do it alone. Politicians often promise to improve safety by adding more police. This sounds good on the campaign trail but often never makes it past the budget committee. I believe there is a better way. I believe that our citizens must work together with our police to address issues within each of our local communities. My plan is to improve both cooperation and communication between our police and our citizens in each of our local communities.
It is also important to acknowledge that violent protests and incidents of civil unrest are becoming increasingly common across the country, in large cities and small towns alike. Incidents like these often spiral out of control very quickly and threaten the safety of both innocent civilians and law enforcement. These events are often fueled by a misunderstanding and a lack of communication. In this way, the benefits of improved communication and a greater connection to the local community will not just improve overall safety within Lakeland but may very well prevent the unnecessary escalation of unforeseen events.
I believe the citizens of Lakeland and the men and women of the Lakeland Police Department are in excellent hands under the leadership of Chief Giddens. As such, my main focus would be to do everything in my power to make sure our police department has what it needs to provide the best law enforcement services possible. I believe my experience in law enforcement makes me uniquely qualified to best support Chief Giddens and to best communicate the needs of law enforcement to our city commission and our citizens.