Fort Myers declines to renew contract with police audit firm

FORT MYERS, Fla. The city chose not to renew a $300,000 contract Monday with a consulting firm that produced a scathing audit of its police force.

Tuesday marks six months since the report, issued by the Freeh Group International LLC, was released on the Fort Myers Police Department. Police have lagged behind in implementing the audit’s recommendations.

Chief Derrick Diggs told City Council Monday that the first tier of recommendations had not yet been put into action. The department was supposed to have been finished with tier two by Tuesday.

Those opposed to the contact renewal did not want to spend money when the department is not on track to meet its goals.

Police have hired a third party to investigate misconduct, as well as worked to reduce homicides and violent crimes in the area, but Diggs admitted the department has more work to do.

“It brings up concerns that we’re not sure what’s going on with our police department, and I had trust in the police department before, and I don’t have that sense of community and trust with my current police department,” said Fort Myers resident Rosie Gaylord.

Mayor Randy Henderson expressed disappointment with the council’s decision and requested City Manager Saeed Kazemi meet with the Freeh Group to revisit the status of the recommendations.

“And I’m imploring this council, if not begging, to stay the course and solve this because the progress is evident,” Henderson said. “We don’t have to guess about this.”

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

Reporter:Jessica Alpern
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Writer:Rachel Ravina
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