Lakeland, Florida -A two-and-a-half hour discussion about the state of the city's police department evoked feelings of concern, embarrassment, and even gratitude.
Facing the city commission for the first time since news broke of massive sexual misconductwithinthe Lakeland Police Department (LPD), Chief Lisa Womack said the agency is movingin the right direction toward rooting out all problems.
"This bell cannot be un-rung," said Womack. "But I can make sure that those who have dishonored the Lakeland Police Departmentbadge and uniform will no longer be Lakeland Police officers."
Womack, who has been chief in Lakeland fortwo-and-a-half years, said she has been focused on increasing accountability within the department since she arrived. The first hour of Monday morning's discussion centered around thetraining and policies she has established.
Womack said about a dozen officers have been terminated since she started because of investigations into serious behavioral problems.
Following Womack's praise for officers who had nothing to do with the scandal, Mayor Gow Fields offered a teary-eyed response and apology for the black eye.
"To the [officers] who have not done anything wrong," Fields said, "thanks for pursuing excellence and doing your job anyway."
Womack hinted several times that the investigation - which has a handful of officers on administrative leave - could extend to other city agencies.
The 37-year-old woman at the center of the LPD sex scandal, who first had consensual sex with co-workers before the relationships allegedly turned abusive, worked in other city departments for six years before taking an analyst job with the police department.
"People who allegedly engaged in thesebehaviors, whether they're my [employees], or anyone else' in the city, did not make these decisions because they're Lakeland Police officers. They made them in spite of being Lakeland Police officers, and I am appalled by that."
Womack added that LPD has also added fraternization language to its nepotism policy, requiring any employee to disclose a new relationship with a co-worker.
Recent Lakeland PD stories:
- State Attorney alleges Lakeland PD sexual misconduct
- More details on Lakeland PD sex scandal
- Lakeland Police have history of sex on job
- Lakeland Police make woman shake bra during search
Follow 10 News Reporter Noah Pransky on twitter @NoahPransky