City Council members express concern over the state of the FMPD

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The discussion got heated at the Fort Myers City Council meeting between Mayor Randy Henderson and Councilmen Johnny Streets and Kevin Anderson.

“We shouldn’t be blindsided by the good stuff,” Kevin Anderson said, a councilperson who worked at the Fort Myers Police Department for 24 years. “I was making the point we owe it to the community and these officers to get these issues resolved so they can go about business.”

Issues surrounding the FMPD are three officers who remain on paid administrative leave, along with corruption allegations brought to light in a 2017 Freeh Group Report, which are still concerning tax payers.

“That police dept has serious issues and you’re all glossing over those issue,” Anthony Thompson said at the council meeting.

Portions of the heavily redacted Freeh Group Report. Photo via WINK News.
Portions of the heavily redacted Freeh Group Report released in 2017. Photo via WINK News.

Since the report, the department has made improvements. New vehicles and equipment were just approved. They are hiring additional officers. But for these two retired officers turned council members, the problems go beyond resources.

“They should be well trained; they should be well equipped,” Anderson said. “But I also believe they should be professional and accountable.”

“If you wanna come in and bring in all the consultants and all the training and technology that sounds good, but we have communities that feel like their feelings have been hurt,” Johnny Streets said, a councilperson. “You have to real, you have to be relevant, and you damn sure have to be reachable.”

But, Mayor Henderson said it is because of council these issues are being investigated. In some cases, resolved.

“I don’t agree with the characterization that we did anything wrong as council,” Anderson said. “We got that help.”

“We do want the best police department there is,” Streets said. “But there are some things that have to be done before we can come together and collaborate.”

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