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Fort Myers accepts grant to hire more police officers

Posted at 11:20 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 23:20:23-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — Fort Myers city councilman Johnny Streets Jr. says it's better to be safe, than sorry.

"It's better to prepare now, then when something happens and we don't have enough people," he said.

And when it comes to the Fort Myers police department, the city is preparing, to the tune of $3 million dollars.

"It's all about the citizen safety in the city of Fort Myers," said Streets Jr.

Monday night, Streets Jr. and his fellow city council members accepted a $1.25 million dollar grant from the Department of Justice, to hire at least 10 new police officers. And they'll be matching that with almost $2 million in city funding.

But city leaders say because of population growth, we'll need way more officers than that...

"We need 43 police officers," said Streets Jr., "We'll probably try to do 10 per year until we reach that number."

It's a need that the current city councilman and former city police officer, Streets Jr., knows all too well. He says the move is a great idea.

And when it comes to hiring those officers, he thinks an even better idea would to be to recruit them from within the city itself.

"First of all you'll know the people, you'll live in the community and you'll have an opportunity to see the issues. You can grow. You'll have an opportunity to get a hold of the young people that are going to school and what their issues might be," he said.

According to documents, this money will fund those officer's salaries for the next 3 years.