Freeh Report shows some progress within FMPD

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City of Fort Myers Police Department

A report with 32 recommendations —a new analysis shows more than half have been completed— and some in the community are taking notice.

Michael Reale, has a certain respect for the Fort Myers Police Department, after, believe it or not, getting arrested.

“I put myself in those scenarios, sure. Were they perfect through it? Probably not. But I learned from it and ultimately I had to change my life and get myself in the right position.”

While this report from more than one year ago shows allegations of corruption, and officers on leave that still remain in question, Reale said it’s a tough job and difficult to generalize.

“I’ve seen very compassionate police officers. I’ve seen some with a chip on their shoulder,” Reale said. “I’ve seen it all across the board on both sides so to judge them all as one would be pretty hard.”

The department has made improvement such as upping their resources by hiring more staff, increasing training, filing complaints in a safe way and place, as well as getting out into the community.

“I feel like there is plenty of police presence and people should not worry about being anywhere,” said Fort Myers resident Paige Rausch.

The Freeh Group was hired by the city and will continue to investigate over the five-year period.

“How we proceed forward is what we should all be judged upon and I’m seeing some really great things,” Rausch said.

The Freeh Group said FMPD needs to do a better job of communicating with the public and the media. Police have not responded to WINK News’ request for an interview.

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