Fort Myers Security Camera Initiative update

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 18:59:49-04

Additional cameras to combat crime and promote accountability will be coming soon to the City of Palms. Fort Myers is moving forward with plans to install surveillance systems in communities hardest hit by crime. The city is also working to equip more of its police officers with body-cams. Most of the changes are expected to be complete by the end of September.

For the past two days, police officers, public leaders and community members have been brining problems and solutions to the table.

The meetings are all part of Fort Myers Police Chief Diggs' initiative to build relationships between his department and the Fort Myers community.

"We have to have those partnerships with certain communities that so desperately need our services."

Chief Diggs tells Four In Your Corner that relationship building isn't his only crime fighting tool.

"Cameras is part of my technology initiative," Chief Diggs said. "We're going to utilize cameras in various parts of the city that we think will help bring down crime."

Tax payers will be paying $300,000 for the installation and maintenance for 16 cameras to keep an eye on the Dunbar area.

Cameras will be installed throughout the Harlem Heights neighborhood off MLK Boulevard and Habitat Village near Veronica Shoemaker.

These neighborhood cameras won't be the only tech tool coming down the pipe to combat crime.

"That program is going to spread," Chief Diggs said. "We're also going to prioritize body cameras on our officers. It's very important they have body cameras."

The department will be receiving close to $60,000 in grants to fund body cameras and other police equipment.

"It helps instill the trust in the community," Chief Diggs said. "It helps bring accountability and help mend community relationships."

The last time Four In Your Corner checked with the Fort Myers Police Department, a spokesperson told FOX 4 that 45% of officers wear body cameras and 3/4 of marked patrol cars have dash cams.

The City Manager tells Four In Your Corner $700,000 has been approved in the budget to purchase and install more cameras throughout the city. The City Manager and Fort Myers Police Chief will be sitting down to discuss where cameras will be put up.