FORT MYERS, Fla. — Councilman Johnny Streets and Kevin Anderson say the Ft. Myers Police department needs to be more transparent about why a special investigations unit in the department was reorganized.
Both councilmen brought the issue up at Monday's council meeting.
"Before you can move forward you have to go back and make some amends," said Streets.
Streets is referring to a special investigative unit that was disbanded by Chief Derrick Diggs because it wasn't solving enough cases. The officer in charge of the unit was demoted and put on administrative leave.
“We live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty, and that applies to our police officers well, and it’s not fair to say: you’ve been accused of something and we are going to take away your livelihood," said Anderson.
Anderson defended the length of time it is taking to resolve this issue.
However, the former FMPD Major, and council’s newest member agrees with Councilman Streets, the police department can’t regain the trust of the public if it is operating under a cloud of suspicion.
“We need to investigate, if we find out there was misconduct we need to address it correct it," said Anderson.
Mayor Randy Henderson says the city has already held the police department accountable by bringing in an outside consultant, the Freeh Group to evaluate it. The report found the department was plagued by corruption and low morale, issues the mayor says have been addressed over the past several months.
“We are way better today than we were before,” said Henderson.
A spokesman with the Ft. Myers Police Department declined to comment on this story.