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3 Lakeland PD employees disciplined in mishandling of sexual battery case | News

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3 Lakeland PD employees disciplined in mishandling of sexual battery case

Lakeland, Florida -- Chief Lisa Womack announced the discipline of three workers related to the handling of a series of calls where the caller claimed a Lakeland officer had sexually battered a woman in August.

When the Lakeland Police Department became aware of the incident, it immediately launched an investigation into what happened.

RELATED: Alleged victim: Lakeland cop "kept asking for sex"

During the investigation, officials learned of several phone calls the victim and a male acquaintance had made to the LPD Communications Center.

When the department reviewed the calls, it discovered the following:

* On August 12, 2013, an alleged sexual battery by Julio Pagan occurred, but was not reported to the police by the victim.

* On August 29, 2013, a series of phone calls from the victim of the alleged sexual battery and a male subject was received by the Lakeland Police Communications Center via non-emergency (i.e. non-E-911) phone lines. 

The calls are outlined below:

10:33 p.m. 

Mr. Haynes contacted the Lakeland Police Department via a non-emergency line. Intake Operator Emergency Communications Specialist (ECS) Christina Jordan answered the call. Mr. Haynes relayed that an unknown Hispanic officer showed up at the residence and was unwelcomed. Mr. Haynes was questioning whether LPD had sent the officer because they had not called for any assistance. Mr. Haynes relayed that the officer had left the location, but would be back in 30 minutes. During this call Mr. Haynes did not mention the sexual battery of August 12, 2013.

Intake Operator ECS Jordan placed Mr. Haynes on hold to determine if LPD had dispatched an officer to the location. ECS Shipmon checked the calls for service and determined no officer had been dispatched. ECS Jordan attempted to reconnect to Mr. Haynes, but for an unknown reason, the call had disconnected. Because the call came in on a non-emergency line, there was no call back number. *Note: It is at this time, while the citizen is on hold, that you hear some chuckling between operators.

11:18 p.m.

Mr. Haynes contacted the Lakeland Police Department via a non-emergency line. Intake Operator ECS Amanda Harrell answered the call. Mr. Haynes is heard talking to someone in the background for a short period, the call then disconnects. ECS Harrell was able to quickly retrieve the call back number.  Because the call seemed suspicious to her, ECS Harrell contacted Verizon to obtain cell phone provider information. The phone belonged to a Metro PCS customer, so ECS Harrell requested contact information for the owner of the phone. This information came back to an Auburndale address.

11:33 p.m.

ECS Harrell contacted Polk County Sherriff's Office (PCSO) to request a deputy to respond to the Auburndale address to check the well-being of individuals at the location. PCSO Intake Operator Marleny contacted the cell phone number and spoke with the complainant to determine if she was in need of assistance. At this time, the complainant relays to the PCSO Intake Operator that the officer had harassed her in the past, that he took her to buy alcohol and asked her for sex and that he will be back in a little while. At this time, PCSO Intake Operator Marleny began asking questions about the officer and determined that it was a Lakeland Police officer. Marleny then transferred the phone call to the LPD Communications Center, but did not stay on the line and explain the nature of the call to LPD Communications Center staff.

11:38 p.m.

Intake Operator ECS Jordan received the transferred call from PCSO via a non-emergency line. The complainant then reported her concerns about the subject unidentified LPD officer to ECS Jordan. When ECS Jordan completed her conversation with the complainant, a CAD entry was created (11:44 p.m.) for an officer to be sent to the location.

11:56 p.m.

ECS Jessica Henry, who was on the dispatch panel, received the CAD entry; however it had limited information in it and made no reference to the previous alleged sexual battery incident. ECS Jordan relayed to ECS Henry that a sergeant needed to be sent to the call in that it involved a complaint on an officer. ECS Henry contacted Sergeant Brown after determining he was the responsible supervisor of the area of the complaint. ECS Henry provided Sergeant Brown with the complainant's contact information and limited information about the nature of the complaint as relayed to her from ECS Jordan. ECS Henry then cancels the call because contact was made with a supervisor, and no officer is sent to the location.

Sergeant Brown attempted to contact the complainant, but the call went to voice mail. He left his contact information, but did not receive a return call from the complainant.  It was later determined that the voice mail was left on the complainant's cell phone, which was inoperable at the time due to the battery being discharged.  The complainant acknowledged receiving a voice mail message from a Sergeant the following morning when she accessed her then recharged cell phone, but she did not return the voice mail message.

No other information is received from the complainant until September 19, 2013 when she mentioned it to her landlord who conveyed the information to the LPD.  The LPD immediately began an investigation into the matter.

As a result of the investigation into the handling of the calls to the LPD Communications Center regarding this incident, the following sustained charges were found:

ECS Christina Jordan

  • Job Knowledge, Competency and Performance
  • Courtesy, Responsiveness and Impartiality
  • Conduct Unbecoming

Sergeant Doug Brown

  • Job Knowledge, Competency and Performance

ECS Jessica Henry

  • Job Knowledge, Competency and Performance

The following discipline has been administered regarding this case:

ECS Christina Jordan - 72-hour suspension and mandatory training

Sergeant Doug Brown - 8.4-hour suspension with an Education Based Discipline Program (EBD) diversion. Sgt. Brown will serve the suspension if he fails to complete the EBD program or if he has sustained misconduct of the same nature within a year.

ECS Jessica Henry - Counseling

"I have the highest expectations of all employees at the Lakeland Police Department to provide professional services to our citizens. In this case, we did not meet those expectations," Chief Woman said in a statement Wednesday. "I hold myself accountable for ensuring these matters are properly addressed. Community safety is always our highest priority."

The officer, Julio Pagan, was charged in September with two counts armed sexual battery and one count aggravated stalking. His case is making its way through the legal system.

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