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Call for FMPD to release policy manual...for free

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 22:47:03-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — Southwest Florida criminal attorney, Peter Dennis, is calling for transparency.

"We have heard so much about the reforms at FMPD. We have heard so much about how they are an incredibly different agency from what they were before. Well, show us!" he said.

For Dennis, the quickest way Fort Myers police can do that, is by releasing it's policy manual to the public.

"I think it's very difficult for members of the community to understand what the role of the police department might be if they don't know what the rules of engagement are so to speak," said Dennis.

And he wants the document released, for free.

This comes after he formally requested the document months ago, a first he was given an estimate that said his request could cost about $600 or more, to fulfill.

Dennis then started a Gofundme to cover the cost and met his goal.

But then just a few days ago....He was given the final estimate for his request...Which is now almost $1600.

He's since canceled the Gofundme effort and is left asking this question instead.

"Should the public be paying that much money for it?" Dennis said.

It's important to note that FMPD quoted Fox 4 the same amount of money for the same request.They say it's because the manual is more than 150 pages long and would have to be reviewed and redacted in some places.

"I think that making the document available to the public says something in and of itself," Dennis said.

He adds that he's putting out this call to encourage a higher level of transparency within the police department.

And he says if you also want to see the document, you should call your assigned city councilperson and tell them.

"I think this is really an issue where you can get involved," he said.

In a statement, FMPD told Fox 4 that they'll be meeting this week to discuss the matter.