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City Council unanimously approves extending pay for Fort Myers police officers

Posted at 9:57 PM, Oct 17, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Emergency pay for those working on Fort Myers’ front lines post Hurricane Ian.

That was the main topic for discussion at tonight’s city council meeting. And the vote was unanimous, with council approving to extend hurricane pay to essential employees- including first responders

This after Fort Myers police officers were worried they are not getting compensated for overtime worked during Hurricane Ian.

"Employees aren’t getting paid- they are getting paid," said Grant Alley, Fort Myers City Attorney. "The issue is the amount of pay and when the pay kicks in.”

City council – trying to clear up confusion tonight – all over the paychecks they sign. Specifically, signing off on overtime worked by city employees including Fort Myers Police officers – on the frontlines – since Ian made landfall 3 weeks ago.

“That emergency pay ends when the county offices opened back up to the public,” said Marty Lawing, Fort Myers City Manager.

This is important because the City of Fort Myers reopened on October 4, however, Lee County reopened on October 11. So those officers thought they would get overtime through the 11th.

Instead, it ended earlier and those officers would not be getting the extra pay for a difference of 8 days.

"A lot of officers, obviously, strongly believe in this. They put their hearts and souls out here for us.”

John Price is the President of the Fort Myers Police Officer Association. He, along with his fellow officers, spoke in front of city council expressing their concerns.

"We were able to have council and let (them) know and back us on it,” he said.

And he wasn’t the only one as dozens of officers turned out to support one another.

“Officers lost their homes, some officers had severe damage making their homes unlivable, some couldn’t get in touch with family members… yet they stayed at work putting the well-being of this city before themselves,” said one officer.

“Not only did we bring them back to facilities, but (they) had no water," said another officer. "Backed up sewage, network issues, but we brought them back.”

And bringing it up to council paid off as they voted unanimously to approve pay.

"Just super happy," said Price. "Overjoyed that they have our back- it’s good to know.

Price says the next step is to work with the city manager and staff to get the pay issues rectified.