Law enforcement leaders discuss possible Club Blu solutions

Published: Updated:
Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Law enforcement leaders from Lee County agencies spoke Wednesday about the Club Blu mass shooting, violence in Fort Myers and how to move forward.

The Tiger Bay Club, a nonpartisan civic issue organization, organized the discussion as questions remain nearly a month after two were killed and 18 others were injured in the parking lot after a teen party at the club in the early morning hours of July 25.

Cape Coral police chief David Newlan, former interim Fort Myers police chief Dennis Eads and new Fort Myers police chief Derrick Diggs were all scheduled to speak shortly after noon at the Harborside Events Center in downtown Fort Myers.

Diggs, who started on the job just a week ago, said before the event that he’s seeking a continued dialogue to hear people’s concerns and build trust in an effort to stop the violence.

“We’ve got to improve our relationship with the communities, and once we start improving our relationship with the the community, then the crime will go down,” Diggs said. “But we’ve got to start building some bridges, and we’ve got to start improving our relationship with the community. And events like this will help me address some of those concerns.”

Club Blu isn’t the only high-profile unsolved crime from the past year in Lee County, with the Zombicon shooting in downtown Fort Myers and the disappearance of 9-year-old San Carlos Park girl Diana Alvarez among the cases that authorities have yet to crack.

Diggs acknowledged that the public is eager for answers but said they’re unlikely to come without an effort to improve communication that could lead to a freer flow of information to law enforcement.

“There are a lot of things planned on the books, but they just have to be patient,” Diggs said. “We are going to get to those unsolved crimes, but the very first thing I have to do is get out in the community and hear their concerns.”

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