Former CCPD chief weighs in on FMPD chief search

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Character and the will to lead a team are two characteristics former Cape Coral police chief Arnold Gibbs says he’s looking for in candidates to fill the chief position at the Fort Myers Police Department.

“I think the most important thing is their character, you have to start with that,” Gibbs said. “Being a police chief, you’re a CEO, you’re the chief executive officer of that department. So you’re ultimately responsible for everything that happens in that department.”

Gibbs served as police chief in Cape Coral for almost 10 years. In Fort Myers, the job has been under scrutiny recently, with claims of discrimination in the department and lack of trust from the community.

Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson says selecting a new chief is the most important task for the city right now.

“We need a leader that will bring us a new way forward. If that means new leadership than we have now, then so be it. But we definitely need a new way forward.”

Gibbs says the first step for the new chief will be a partnership with the people of Fort Myers.

“The police are the community and the community is the police,” Gibbs said. “You don’t have trust, and if you don’t have trust, you don’t have cooperation, and if you don’t have cooperation, you don’t have success.”

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