Outsider Derrick Diggs to head Fort Myers Police Department

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 09:08:46-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Ft. Myers City Council unanimously approved the hire of Derrick Diggs as the city's top cop Thursday.  Diggs was most recently the chief of the Toledo, Ohio police department.

“I don’t tolerate violent crime, I don’t tolerate it," Diggs told council members Thursday night.

Addressing violence in the city will be his main priority, once he takes over as chief.  No start date has been given yet.  Diggs takes over for Interim Chief Dennis Eads, who will remain with the department.

"There needs to be a change in our city, because there have been too many unsolved murders," said Angela McClary. 

McClary's son and brother were murdered in June of 2014.  She was among many who spoke at the council meeting urging the chief to address rising crime in the city.  Before that happens Chief Diggs wants to reach out to the community.  "We got trust issues in the police department and certain members of the community, so we have to address that as well.”

Diggs says he will use technology as a crime fighting and prevention tool.  While chief of the Toledo Police Department, officers were able to tap into feeds from more than 100 cameras at the same time.

“There’s not a police chief in this country that has enough officers to get the job done, so we try and use technology to reduce the demand gap," he said.

McClary is hopeful a change at the top of the department will help bring her some closure.

“We do need a set of fresh eyes that can come in here and look at things with a different mindset.  From what I’ve seen, his vision is something I’m proud of," she said.

Diggs also told council he wants to make sure people who finish their jail or prison sentences are able to find steady work and employment in their communities, so they don't end up behind bars again.