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Show of support for Lakeland's police chief | News

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Show of support for Lakeland's police chief

LAKELAND, Florida - During Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack's monthly "Chief Chat", one of her supporters spoke out regarding the recent media coverage about her.

The event was open to the public and was held in the community room of the Lakeland Police Department on Monday evening.

"I came tonight because I'm really dissatisfied with a lot of the coverage that the police department and you have gotten,"said David Ruffin to the room of people. 

Ruffin added, "People should come to employment here at the Lakeland Police Department possessing those characteristics - morals and ethics and character and that kind of thing."

He also told the chief that he was appalled at the reports comparing the sex scandal she's overseeing now in Lakeland with one that happened in Elgin, Illinois where Chief Womack once held the same position. 

See also: LPD denies less-than-thorough vetting of chief before hire

"And I really don't see the parallel but I really wanted to apologize for the Ledger's behavior," Ruffin said.

Many of the people in the room started to clap and cheer over his statement.

Chief Womack readily admits she was investigating another sex scandal in 2010 when she resigned in Elgin as chief. It involved an affair between two officers. But she says that played no role in why she left Elgin. 

"The administrative investigation that was occurring there was in no way - and this is confirmed folks - was in no way related to my departure as the chief there in any way shape form or fashion," Womack told the crowd. "It was a sad situation there, but it was not a situation that is similar to the one we have here." 

"It's confirmed in writing that that case had absolutely nothing to do - it was unrelated to my departure," she said earlier in the day. "There was a new city manager who decided to name his own team and I departed along with several other department heads- and that's been confirmed," she added.

The chief also told the crowd that there are plenty of things the media should also be focused on. like the fact that over the weekend, her department retained its national accreditation. She admitted it cost a little more than $14,000 dollars, but she said it was money well spent.

Womack also told they crowd that the department is hiring. They're looking for more than a dozen police officers. She admitted however that they're looking for quality and not quantity.

Follow 10 News Anchor Tammie Fields on twitter @tammiefields

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