I don't want to [quote] 'take over', and I've heard all of those things. That is the furthest thing from my mind," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Lakeland, Florida -- Right off the bat, he made it clear.
"I don't want to be the police chief. I don't want to contract to run the Lakeland Police Department. I don't want to take over, and I've heard all of those things. That is the furthest thing from my mind," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Judd didn't mince words when he addressed the media Wednesday. He insisted he wouldn't play politics when it comes to getting involved in the Lakeland saga.
So, the question remains: Will he or wont he?
Only the top cop in Polk County can answer that. So, will Sheriff Grady Judd do an audit of the embattled Lakeland Police Department?
Sheriff Judd, "My response was simply this. If the city commission votes to ask the sheriff's office to assist, and preferably it's a 7-0 vote, we'd be more than happy to assist."
Lakeland City Commissioner and mayoral candidate Howard Wiggs wants Judd to step in and help out.
Commissioner Wiggs tells 10 News it's a no-brainer. He says Grady Judd is the ideal person to come in do a management audit
"Given the challenges that we've faced, who would not want a second opinion. Grady is a very trusted guy. He is always going to do the right thing," said Wiggs.
Wiggs is convinced the public would be eager to see the results of an audit where the department would be analyzed inside and out -- everything from people to procedures.
But, Wiggs admits that most commissioners are non-committal at this point.
Wiggs said, "I think I can get the votes for Grady Judd. To me, that's almost a no-brainer. I don't know if I'll get the votes for the police chief dismissal.
The long-time commissioner has openly called for the dismissal of Chief Lisa Womack and City Manager Doug Thomas calling for their resignations.
The question is could this audit save LPD and re-establish public trust?
"What is this going to be like if this lasts another two or three years and we can't come together? It will wreck our department," Wiggs said.
Wiggs plans to bring this up at an agenda meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday morning.
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