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Lakeland Citizens Academy Taking Applications : City News Blog

LAKELAND, FL (January 3, 2024) | The City of Lakeland is now taking applicants for the 2024 Lakeland Citizens Academy. This FREE, hands-on, interactive public information program allows citizens to gain insight into City services and the functions of City Departments. The Citizens Academy program consists of seven (7), two (2) hour evening sessions. The program starts in February and runs through April. The program is limited to 30 Lakeland residents aged 16 and older.  Enrollment in the class is based on a first-come-first-served basis.  The first 30 to sign-up for the class will be given enrollment. 

2024 Citizens Academy Session Schedule:

  • Week 1 (February 29): History of Lakeland and Finance Department 
  • Week 2 (March 7): Lakeland Fire Department 
  • Week 3 (March 21): Community and Economic Development
  • Week 4 (March 28): Lakeland Police Department 
  • Week 5 (April 4): Lakeland Electric 
  • Week 6 (April 11): Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts 
  • Week 7 (April 18): Lakeland Linder Airport & Graduation

Lakeland’s Citizens Academy is a FREE public information program. The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to familiarize citizens in the community with Lakeland’s City government.  The program includes the function of City Departments, explains the relationship between the City Commission and City Administration, allows an overview of the budgetary process, provides valuable public safety content, and serves as an outlet for citizen input. The Citizens Academy is an interactive program that incorporates hands-on activities and behind the scene tours as part of the learning process.

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications said, “We have been offering the Lakeland Citizens Academy since the year 2000 and there are several ambassadors in the community including a few past City Commissioners that have gone through the program.  It is a great way to learn the inner workings of your local government and tour facilities many people don’t get a chance to see. The program is especially beneficial for those that may have an interest in running for public office, residents that are new to the area or those who want to be more knowledgeable about the City of Lakeland as an organization.  Our Citizens Academy participants will often get advance notification of projects and initiatives through the departmental sessions.”
All participants interested in the Citizens Academy are encouraged to attend all the sessions to get the most from the program. All sessions, unless otherwise noted, are from 6-8 p.m. and at least four sessions will meet away from City Hall.  A light dinner is served for participants at 5:45 p.m. at all locations. Once a resident goes through the Citizens Academy program, they receive a certificate in Governmentology 101 and have a better understanding of local government operations. Those interested in participating should contact the City of Lakeland’s Communications Department at citizensacademy@lakelandgov.net.



Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. 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 continues to capitalize 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. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.