FMPD deputy chief unanimously approved by city leaders

FORT MYERS, Fla. City leaders unanimously approved the hiring of Randall L. Pepitone as the next deputy chief of the Fort Myers Police Department on Monday.

Pepitone, who retired in January after 31 years with the Toledo, Ohio Police Department, has agreed to a two-year contract with a base salary of $118,000. His first day will be June 1.

Pepitone is the second Fort Myers police leadership hire from Toledo. Chief Derrick Diggs spent 37 years with Toledo police before he was hired in Fort Myers.

Pepitone, who retired as a lieutenant in Toledo police’s crime suppression unit, received the department’s Blue Star Medal Award in 2013 after he was accidentally shot in the side of the head by a 92-year-old woman who mistook him for a burglary suspect.

Pepitone’s hiring would, in part, satisfy the second recommendation outlined in a scathing audit of the Fort Myers Police Department. Released in February, the audit alleged cronyism, lack of effective leadership, corruption and limited resources that damaged the agency’s reputation and morale for years.

The recommendation also noted that the department previously had a deputy chief position and suggested hiring two temporary deputy chiefs.

City council members approved hiring for Pepitone’s position in March.

This story is the latest in WINK News’ continuing series about the FMPD audit.