FMPD, LCSO net 65 arrests so far in joint task force

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Fort Myers police vehicles

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Sixty-five people have been arrested in recent weeks in Lee County, following the creation of a joint task force between the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) and Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO).

The task force began in late September after multiple deadly shootings in Fort Myers. The law enforcement agencies are also receiving help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the State Attorney’s Office, and Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson.

Fort Myers Police Chief Dennis Eads says a large portion of the arrests were made outside of city limits, with the help of LCSO manpower.

“Message carries onto, we are not going to be able to get away with maybe doing something in city and running into the county or vice versa. Now both agencies, we go where they go,” said Lt. Jay Rodriguez with FMPD.

Chief Eads adds that those arrested can also be potential witnesses for unsolved crime. Once they’re in jail, authorities can pump them for information. Many of the arrests were related to drugs. Others were probation violations, gun seizures.

“Drugs are always connected with violence, you can link the two together,” said Eads.

Community members are starting to see a difference.

“I’ve seen a lot more police officers. Right down the road, I saw the other day probably about 15 police officers,” said Edward Burchetta, who works at The Deli in downtown Fort Myers.

“We know it’s making an impact because we’re there every night, and we see it every night,” said Rodriguez. “We know it’s making an impact because you hear it from both sides of the community. Those that are causing these issues, and those that are suffering from these issues.”

Thirty of the people arrested are still in custody. The remaining 35 were released on bond.

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