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'I was in the room:' Chief responds to independent review of FMPD

Posted at 12:54 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 20:59:54-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs heralded the work of his department and went on the defensive in response to an independent review of the department that was due to be formally released Monday.

The City of Fort Myers ordered an independent review to examine how a group of law enforcement officers interpreted a statement made by the now-retired commander overseeing the new headquarters project.

The review did not find any violations in removing then-Commander William Newhouse, but investigators strongly recommended more should’ve been done to remove all possibility of favoritism.

WATCH NOW: Chief Derrick Diggs

RAW: FMPD chief responds to independent department review

"It appears this controversy centers around whether a major gave an order to hide the cost of a construction project," Diggs said, "but what everyone fails to recognize is that I was in the room. I would never allow the department to keep a secret of this nature from our community. We are a transparent agency."

“I asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement… to investigate the complaint against the former major. Unfortunately, that request was denied," he added.

Diggs said he also asked the city attorney to conduct the investigation with other agencies but was also denied.

While saying he stood by the department's own review of the incident, the chief wanted to remind the public that "the proof was in the numbers" regarding his department's work with the community since he took command.

"While violent crime is skyrocketing across this country," he said, "homicides and violent crimes have declined in the City of Fort Myers."