FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — There are some new security measures on Fort Myers Beach following the January 20 murder of library director Leroy Hommerding. The Lee County Sheriff's Office placed two portable observation towers - equipped with surveillance cameras - on the island.
"It's the eye in the sky," said Sheriff Carmine Marceno. "We want people to believe we're everywhere. Nobody wants to be caught on camera."
Deputies arrested a local homeless man, Adam Soules, 36, for Hommerding's murder. They say Soules confessed to stabbing the 69-year-old library director to death.
One of the surveillance towers is located near the area where Soules was arrested: the abandoned Topps Supermarket, which Fort Myers Beach town councilman Dennis Boback said is frequented by homeless people.
"Anything helps," Boback said. "This unfortunate tragedy...maybe this will galvanize everybody to do what should have been done a long time ago."
He said that means giving the growing homeless population in the town a means to receive the help they need to improve their lives.
"There's nowhere on the island that can really help them with the underlying problem, which is mental health issues, drug abuse and alcohol abuse," Boback said. "These folks need to get some help."
The other surveillance tower is located near the western side of the main bridge to the island.
Marceno is expected to speak at Monday's town council meeting to address residents and council members about their concerns with security on Fort Myers Beach.