A plan to bring in an outside agency to handle Fort Myers Police Department is not moving forward. Part of the reason it won’t happen is because the Fort Myers city councilman who proposed the idea voted against it during the council’s regular scheduled meeting. The decision was based on the disagreement over the word “order.”
Councilman Johnny Streets voted against his own proposal at the Fort Myers city council meeting Monday after a suggestion was added to his proposal for an agency to investigate police department.
“The police department is probably the number one organization, and the fire department, that you need to make sure is doing the right thing,” Streets said.
Restoring trust to the community was Street’s goal for his proposal at the meeting.
“I thought it would be a good idea,” Streets said. “It didn’t say get rid of. It said suspend temporarily and use an independent firm or another agency.”
Streets said his intention is not to be adversarial toward Police Chief Derrick Diggs, but he believes the police department should consider suspending the internal affairs department temporarily and hire an independent firm or another agency.
All this follows the investigation of Captain Jay Rodriguez, who is accused of receiving a sex act during a 2013 prostitution sting.
Councilwoman Terolyn Watson was willing to second the motion with an addition.
“What I would like to add to it is to order the city manager or make a motion for the city manager to come in with an outside law enforcement agency such as the U.S attorney,” Watson said.
Streets disagreed with Watson’s addition to his original proposal.
“The person that seconded wanted me to amend it to ‘order,’ and I didn’t want to use that word — order.”
Without a second motion, the original one did not pass.
Streets said it comes down to hoping the city manager takes what he heard at the meeting Monday and voluntarily sits down with the police chief to discuss hiring an outside agency.