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Lakeland Police Department employees vote 'No Confidence' in police chief Lisa Womack

11:48 PM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida - Both Lakeland Police Department Union and civilian employees took a No Confidence vote that focused on Police Chief Lisa Womack's ability to lead the department.

Out of 183 West Central Police Benevolent Association members, 160 members voted, which resulted in a split decision.

Eighty union members gave the chief a "No Confidence" vote, while 80 others thought the chief was doing a fine job.

"The fifty-fifty split ... it's hard to explain ... it's interesting," said West Central PBA president Nick Marolda.

Civilian employees such as secretaries and crime scene employees also participated in the two-day voting that ran from Jan. 21-22nd.

Seventy-two voted No Confidence in Chief Womack versus 43.

When combined, 153 voters voiced a No Confidence vote in the chief versus 123.

Chief Womack has come under fire over the last year after several department scandals that resulted in the arrest of one officer, the firing of at least three, and the discipline of 27 others.

"She is happy and she said that every employee in the department had a chance to be able to be heard," said Lakeland Police spokesperson Sergeant Gary Gross while discussing the chief's reaction after learning the result of the vote.

City manager Doug Thomas released a letter after learning of the vote. It reads in part, "The results of the vote are concerning because it represents the current pulse of both sworn and non-sworn Departmental personnel." 

The vote is non-binding, which means the chief will not be removed from her post because of the results.

Meanwhile, Mayor Howard Wiggs, a Womack critic, said it is another reason that the chief needs to be removed from the job.

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