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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Lake City Police Chief Praises Department
Residents come out to support the Chief and CM


Lake City's Mayor Steve Witt and the Lake City, City Council make sure everyone has their chance to address the City Council. The Mayor and City Clerk, Audrey Sikes listen.

LAKE CITY, FL – It was a full house in City Hall last night, as residents came out to support the Police Chief, the City Manager and the Lake City Police Department, after a run of bad press and bad news. Lake City Mayor Steve Witt and the City Council continue to set the bar in Florida for meeting decorum, allowing anyone to speak and ask questions as long as they are, in the words of Mayor Witt, "Respectful and orderly." At the last council meeting, former LCPD Captain, Rudolph Davis presented his findings to the Council. Last night the other side gave theirs... and a little bit more.

A Great Job

First up to the microphone was long time resident Elizabeth Allen, who has a shop on Main Street.

"I thought these days were gone forever. We were doing so well. And here lately we have just gone off track. All I'm hearing is a bunch of accusations and arguments and threats and it's absurd. We're so much better than that."

Ms. Allen said that since Chief Gilmore and City Manager Johnson came to Lake City the prostitution has disappeared from downtown and she hasn't seen any drug deals lately.

Ms. Allen continued, "Their job is to make Lake City a great place to live and I think they are doing a great job."

All the way from Arcadia: "I pledged to be here"

Dr. Lorenzo Dixon told the City Council that he drove 3 1/2 hours to come to Lake City. "I pledged to be here," he said. He did not reveal to whom he made this pledge or what kind of doctor he is.

Dr. Lorenzo said that in Arcadia there is a five minute time limit. He assured the Council that he would use only three or four minutes.

Dr. Lorenzo told Mayor Witt, "You've got the gavel." He cautioned the mayor not to allow certain groups -- "certain peoples to come in here to grandstand to get media attention -- that's all it's about."

Dr. Lorenzo explained that he brought letters with him from the Sheriff, from the City Administrator, and from a newspaper, letters that said what he did and what he's done.

He told the Council, "Once I'm subpoenaed, as a public servant and a person in my position, I will be more than glad to give depositions concerning corrupt officers and things that I've witnessed."

Dr. Lorenzo told the City Council that the actions of former Police Captain Davis almost cost him his life. He said that Mr. Davis called drug dealers to let them know he was complaining because he wanted "them off the streets -- and that is in black and white where I reported it."

Dr. Lorenzo's three or four minutes turned into ten. The City Council listened patiently for almost 10 minutes, allowing Dr. Lorenzo to state his case.

Local Pastor L.R. Leguire: "We weren't divided."

Pastor L.R. Leguire of the Apostolic Church told the Council, "I love this City. I've been here 50 years in the same place."

"When I came here we weren't divided -- we were one city."

 

Fifty years ago in Lake City was 1962. According to Glynell Presley of the NAACP, at that time Lake City's schools were still segregated, along with the movie theater and the courthouse, where black folks were forced to sit in the balcony.

Another resident told the Observer, "In the sixties I was a 10 year old black girl. I was not allowed to try on clothes in the stores."

Pastor Leguire concluded his remarks, "I have nothing but praise for this City."

Police Chief Gilmore

"I'd like to express my gratitude to those citizens who took the time to express their gratefulness and thankfulness for the Lake City Police Department. I am very proud to be your Police Chief. We have some the finest police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the City and I am very proud to be a part of that team."

Epilogue

After the meeting, former LCPD Captain Davis addressed Dr. Dixon's charges.

Former Capt. Davis told the Observer, "I don't recall ever having a conversation with Mr. Lorenzo. I never arrested him or any of his relatives. I have no knowledge of Mr. Lorenzo's charges, nor is there anything in my file relative to that. If Mr. Lorenzo wants to testify, I welcome his testimony. In the end truth will prevail."

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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