FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Fort Myers Police Department will soon be growing. Monday night, Fort Myers City Council approved a federal grant that will allow the city to hire nine more officers.
“Nine officers is just short of one entire patrol shift,” said Fort Myers Police Chief Dennis Eads.
Eads says the grant for more than $1 million is coming from the Justice Department and it will employ those nine officers for three years.
“We could completely create an entire new patrol unit, we can enhance the community policing efforts,” said Eads.
Three years from now, the city will spend more than $1 million in taxpayer money to keep those nine officers on the force.
“We don’t want to see the same thing that happened to the firemen after three years, and we don’t have the funding,” said Councilman Johnny Streets.
Chief Eads says more bodies are needed at FMPD.
“We are below numbers, quite a bit below in numbers that we were in the past,” said Eads.
Since 2008, FMPD lost 41 police officers and right now there are still many open positions.
“That is a lot of experience walking out the door in a very short period of time,” said Eads.
The department could start hiring these police officers within six months.