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State Attorney Hill: Changes are needed at LPD

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State Attorney Jerry Hill State Attorney Jerry Hill
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Polk State Attorney Jerry Hill sent a letter Friday to Lakeland City Manager Doug Thomas suggesting that the city needs to take decisive action towards the Lakeland Police Department and its leadership.

Jerry Hill said, "The Lakeland Police Department has become a second or even third rate agency and an embarrassment to the citizens of Lakeland. It is broken."

You can read the letter here.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, Hill said he wouldn't use the word 'fire,' but he thought major changes at the LPD were necessary.

"The city has known about the culture at the department and has done nothing," he said.


He compared Chief Womack to a football coach who couldn't get the team to win.

"If you're not winning games it's time to make a change," Hill said.

Former LPD officer Julio Pagan is accused of raping a woman while on duty. He made his first appearance before a judge Friday afternoon. He was denied bond.

Related story: 09/26/2013 Lakeland police officer arrested

The victim says Pagan came to her home while investigating another incident and forced her to have sex. According to investigators, he then repeatedly came back and asked for sex again. He's facing charges of armed sexual battery and aggravated stalking.

Related story: 09/27/2013 Lakeland Police release 911 calls about arrested officer

Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack said at a news conference Thursday she is disgusted by the allegations.

"And if it's true, he has shamed each and every member of this department, each and every member of this community," she said. "He not only violated just the woman that he victimized, but he violated the trust of trust of every citizen of Lakeland."

Stay with WFLA.com on this developing story.

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