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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
Crime & Courts

Union split on vote on Lakeland police chief


A law enforcement union has split on whether to take a vote of no confidence embattled Lakeland police Chief Lisa Womack.

West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association President Nick Marolda called for a straw poll to see if there was an interest in taking a formal vote of no confidence on Police Chief Lisa Womack, according to Sgt. Gary B. Gross, public information officer of the Lakeland Police Department.

The vote, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, let to 80 votes of confidence in the police chief and 80 votes of no confidence, Gross said.

Non-sworn employees and sworn members who are not a part of the union had a separate vote, which resulted in 43 votes of confidence in the police chief and 72 votes of no confidence, Gross said.

In recent months, the Lakeland Police Department has faced high-profile investigations regarding an sex scandal involving several officers and an incident in which an officer asked a woman to shake out her bra during a traffic stop.

In September, Polk County State Attorney wrote a letter to city manager Doug Thomas saying Womack should be fired. In October, a police advisory committee made several recommendations, but did not call for Womack to be dismissed.