Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens to Join FSC as Campus Director of Safety and Security

chief giddens

LAKELAND (Jan. 9, 2019) – Florida Southern College announced today that Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens has accepted the position as the College’s new Director of Safety and Security. Chief Giddens, who announced his retirement from the Lakeland Police Department on Monday, will begin his new role at the College at the end of the current academic year. Bill Carew will retire as Director of Campus Safety in May.

“I’m excited to join the team at Lakeland’s prestigious Florida Southern College,” Chief Giddens said. “Although it is bittersweet to leave the amazing people at the Lakeland Police Department, I felt it was the right time to transition into the next chapter of my life. This opportunity allows me to use my law enforcement skills and, more importantly, spend quality time with my family.”

Chief Giddens has served the local community with the Lakeland Police Department for the past 34 years. He was named Interim Police Chief in February 2014 and was officially named Police Chief in March 2015. Chief Giddens began his law enforcement career as an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Lakeland Police Department in 1984, and he was hired full-time in 1985. Before becoming Police Chief, he served as a SWAT member, as part of the department’s Street Crimes Unit and Patrol Division, and in various leadership positions. He graduated from the FBI National Academy in December 2005.

Florida Southern’s Department of Safety and Security serves the campus 24 hours a day year-round, promoting and supporting a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and thousands of annual visitors and tourists.

“The safety of our campus is our highest priority,” said Florida Southern College President Dr. Anne Kerr. “With his experience, knowledge, and stellar character, I am confident that Chief Giddens will continue to support our important commitment to campus safety. He is an exemplar of outstanding leadership, and we look forward to welcoming him to our FSC team.”


Local Banker Joins Commercial Banking Team At Bank of Central Florida

kim knaisch

Lakeland, Fla – January 4, 2018 – Bank of Central Florida is pleased to announce the hiring of local banker Kim Knaisch. She joined the Commercial Banking team as Vice President and Commercial Lender, bringing with her over 16 years of experience in sales and commercial banking. In her new role, Knaisch will provide financial solutions for businesses, such as commercial mortgages, construction loans, equipment financing and business banking services.
“We’re very pleased to have Kim onboard with our Commercial Banking team,” said Chairman/CEO and President Paul Noris. “She has great experience working with business owners and is committed to providing our clients with a great combination of products, services and professional attention.” “I am thrilled to join the Bank of Central Florida team,” said Knaisch. “They have a great reputation in our community and are truly committed to helping their clients to grow and prosper. It’s a great company culture and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Knaisch holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Florida Southern College and is
currently involved in EMERGE Lakeland, serving on the organization’s Steering Committee. Her office will be located in Bank of Central Florida’s South Lakeland headquarters at 5015 South Florida Avenue. She can be reached at 863-578-3651 or by email at


Does Your Business Offer a Senior Discount?

One of our members is putting together a list of local businesses that offer senior discounts to include on their website. If any current members are interested in listing their businesses it is free. Please provide them with the following info:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Business phone
  • Business URL, if applicable
  • Details of the discount and what, if any documentation a person needs to receive the discount

Info can be emailed to info@PolkElderCare.com.


Get to Know Masis Staffing Solutions – Open House Event

For more info on event click here




Join us on February 5th, 2019, for refreshments, hors-d’oeuvres, and get to know your local Masis Staffing Team!

Masis provides companies nation-wide with temporary staff, on-site support, payroll services, and more. Join us on February 5th to meet our executive level staff, and learn about how Masis can oversee the recruiting, placements, on-boarding, and monitoring of your workforce, alongside many other Human Resource tasks. Come ready to mingle and learn how Masis can exceed your staffing expectations!

Headquartered in Worcester, Massachusetts, Masis provides staffing support in 13 States with 30 locations. Our clients range anywhere from new start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies. They represent a variety of industries, including food production and distribution, medical services, plastics manufacturing, recycling, pharmaceuticals, retail distribution, and print industry.

Questions? Contact Randi – rtaft@masisstaffing.com


City of Lakeland Launches Newly Designed Mobile App


LAKELAND, FL (January 7, 2019) – The City of Lakeland launched an updated mobile app as just another way to connect with citizens. The app is now available in the Apple iTunes app store and the Android Google Play store.  The app is full of features allowing citizens to access the City to find the latest news, information on events, report an issue and easily view live meetings.  Users can easily find the app by searching lakelandgov in the app stores.

“I am proud to introduce the new and improved City of Lakeland mobile app,” said City Manager Tony Delgado. “With the ability to use your phone to report an issue and easily find a contact number for a service, this app is yet another way for the city to be open, transparent and responsive to our citizens.”

The app is user friendly and easy to navigate with brightly colored menu buttons. Users can also find their way with navigation icons that are permanently located at the bottom of the screen. Inside the News Section are links to posts from the City’s new blog that includes press releases from the City.

The app provides an A-Z contact list for the many services and Departments within the City. In addition to the City’s existing Citizens Action Center found online, the app offers citizens a simple way to report issues—like potholes, graffiti, missed yard waste, street lights that are out, bulk item pick-up, and many others. Users can include an address and description, GPS-specific location, as well as a photo of the issue. Once an issue is reported, you can follow the progress with the Citizen Action Center tracking feature.

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications said, “The app was developed in-house by a team from the Department of Information Technology and the City’s Communications Department. Our goal is to have an informed and engaged citizenry and we will continue to develop technologies to help us reach that goal.” He added, “The City of Lakeland had an older mobile app called Link2Lakeland but as device platforms became more complex, the app proved to be dated and needed a face lift.  The new app just received final approval from the Apple app store so it is now available to the public.”


The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  Lakeland continues to grow with the current population over 100,000. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland capitalizes on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago.


For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov.