Communication Builds Our Community

Citizens and Police Advisory Committee Holds Organizational Meeting

The newly recreated Citizens and Police Community Relations Advisory Committee held its first meeting Monday, Sept. 21 to organize and get acquainted.

The Lake Wales City Commission re-established the committee in August with the following purposes:

- Providing a forum for citizens to express their opinions about police procedures and to receive informal information from the police department regarding police procedures.

- Providing a forum for citizens and the police department to openly and respectfully discuss issues of concern with the hope that concerns can be positively resolved.

- Providing a forum for citizens and the police department to engage in a dialogue that will be positive and productive and that will continue to foster a climate of trust and mutual respect.

The former three-member committee, including two citizens and one police officer, met quarterly and was disbanded in 2017. The new committee will meet at least monthly and has six members, including one police officer and five members, each hand-picked by the mayor and four commissioners.

At its Sept. 21 meeting, committee members agreed to meet twice monthly starting Oct. 12. Acknowledging that 10 a.m. Monday mornings might not be the best time to obtain citizen input, newly appointed committee Chairman Andy Oguntola said meetings would be scheduled at different times and locations to ensure citizen participation.

"We want to make sure our committee members know we're here for the community," Oguntola said. "We'll make sure their voices are heard."

Oguntola said he tasked committee members with doing research on other advisory boards before the next meeting and to bring back ideas about how they want to see the city move forward positively. He said he asked committee members to speak to the commissioners who appointed them to get their input about how they would like the committee to function.

Deputy Chief Troy Schulze will represent the Lake Wales Police Department on the committee. Citizen members include:

- Oguntola, nominated by Mayor Eugene Fultz. An administrator with Polk State College, Oguntola currently serves on the Lake Wales Charter Review Committee. He is board chairman for the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council and vice chair of the Lake Wales Arts Center and Lake Wales Main Street and a Trustee for the Lake Wales Charter Schools.

- Dwight Wilson, appointed by Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson. Wilson is a consultant to nonprofits, foundations and municipalities with more than 20 years of government experience. He has been an adjunct faculty member for Polk State and Eckerd College and has a master's degree in public administration. He currently serves on the city's Code Enforcement Board.

- Narvell Peterson, nominated by Commissioner Terrye Howell. Retired from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Peterson has in the past served on the city's Code Enforcement and Planning and Zoning boards. He also has served as president of the Dr. Martin Luther King Committee and the B Street Community Center.

- Jim "Mo" Moyer, appointed by Commissioner Al Goldstein. Moyer is retired and a past chairman of the Lake Ashton Homeowner Association board. He has been active with organizations related to military POWs and MIAs and with the U.S.O. of Central Florida.

- Tiffany Davis, appointed by Commissioner Curtis Gibson. Retired from the U.S. Army and preparing to open the Wales Pointe restaurant downtown, Davis is a member of Rotary on the Ridge, Lake Wales Heritage and the Lincoln Community Development Corp. Education Committee.


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