FORT MYERS, Fla. The Fort Myers Police Department is looking to move forward, Chief Derrick Diggs acknowledged Friday.
Diggs had asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate alleged claims of officer misconduct listed in an alarming report of the police department.
The report, which was conducted by Freeh Group International Solutions Inc., detailed heinous allegations of drug planting, officers leaking search warrant information to drug dealers and officers moving up in rank without the proper qualifications.
The report cited a buyout program from nearly a decade ago as the beginning of the department’s unraveling.
“We are going to move forward as a police department and I’m asking the community now more than ever to support us,” he said.
Since the report’s release last month, Diggs has not wanted to speak of it, saying that the past is the past and that he wants to make the department one the community can be proud of.
“Yes, the Freeh report identified some things that I’m concerned and frustrated by, but I’m just as frustrated with folks not understanding that we are doing the right things for this police department that’s understaffed and under-resourced,” he said. “We are getting the job done.”
Diggs joined the department less than a year ago. He has begun working on the recommendations highlighted in the report and said he’s committed to completing all 32 of the recommendations within the next five years.