FMPD releases previously redacted appendices of the Freeh Report

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Freeh report

Five years after being released with redactions, the appendices of the Freeh Report, an analysis of the Fort Myers Police Department, have been released.

The documents shed new light on possible misconduct at the Fort Myers Police Department.

FMPD had a press conference on Sept. 9, hoping to finally turn the page and move forward.

The appendices of the Freeh Report paint the picture of a struggling department, leaking information to major drug dealers and failing to report security concerns.

The department says it’s cleaned up and better off.

Acting Chief Randall Pepitone opened the press conference reflecting on the newly released Freeh Report appendices, the contents, and a stark contrast from the department he knows.

“That’s a totally different agency. Since Chief Diggs has come here, he’s followed their road map,” Pepitone said, “That’s why we’re here today, a safer city.”

Previously redacted pages claim a Fort Myers Police Department supervisor and multiple officers leaked information to the “Primary suppliers of heroin and cocaine” in Fort Myers.

It also reveals that FMPD staff failed to properly report security concerns.

According to the DOJ, since the Freeh Report’s release back in 2017, James Broomfield pleaded guilty to killing former confidential informant Kristopher Smith while Robert Ward was convicted of tampering with an informant by murder.

FMPD says new staff and a new command structure ensure those same issues will not be repeated.

“There’s certain oversight that goes on. And something like this wouldn’t happen today,” Pepitone said.

Included in the press conference was a letter from U.S Attorney Roger Handberg dated just one day ago.

Handberg explains how redacting the appendices helped to convict Broomsfield and Ward and thanks FMPD for their continued partnership.

“This is a testament to the growth we have gone through as an agency, and reenergizes our commitment to make Fort Myers a safe place to live,” Pepitone said.

With these redactions finally made public, WINK News asked the acting chief if the department was hoping to move on from the Freeh Report once and for all.

“Um, very… definitely. Um, yes,” Pepitone said.

Another reason the department considers this chapter closed is the City of Fort Myers has reached a settlement with former officer Jason Jackson.

He’s been on and off administrative leave, even fired, since the report’s original release five years ago.

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