Fort Myers addresses FMPD audit, votes to hire more leaders and buy equipment

Posted at 8:20 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 06:34:02-05

Fort Myers City Council approved the hiring of more managers in the police department, as well as new equipment Monday. 

In a unanimous vote, The Council created a Deputy Police Chief position and two additional lieutenant positions. The new positions will cost $322,000, including benefits and equipment.  

The department will also purchase 24 new laptops, docking stations and printers for use in police cruisers at a cost of $75,000.

City council members approved the funding after debating a motion filed by council Johnny Streets, which called for the police chief and city manager to work with the Department of Justice to investigate reports of corruption highlighted in a recently released audit.

Streets' motion failed in a 5 to 2 vote; many council members didn't agree they should decide how Police Chief Derrick Diggs addresses the issues raised in the audit. 

"I respect y'alls vote; I'm not mad at about it," said Streets.  "Let's move forward, lets support what y'all say you want to do. Either clear it up now or leave it the hell alone," said Streets.

Several concerned residents expressed support for Streets' failed motion.

"With all the corruption that's supposedly going on with the Fort Myers police department how do we know those officers, or detectives weren't a part of that investigation," said Alicia Day, Fort Myers resident. 

The audit highlighted 32 red flags the department needs to addresses, and Chief Diggs says he is committed to the investment it will require to implement the recommended changes. 

"Many of the mistakes that are identified in this report is because of the fact that we try to do too much with too few, said Diggs.