Freeh Report shows FMPD still needs positions filled

The Fort Myers Police Department is in need of more patrol officers, as well as call takers in its communications department, according to the most recent update in the ongoing Freeh Report investigation.

The report acknowledges the police departments need to fill these roles, but also mentions new problems.

On top of needing to fill positions that have been understaffed for 10 years, the department now has to fill 16 school resource officer positions, as well as two additional SRO Supervisor positions.

The shortage of those positions leads to another problem of needing to fill supervisor level positions.

The Freeh Report cites the department’s lack of incentives, like lower pay and less benefits, as part of the problem for higher turn over and unfilled positions.

Higher officer pay is something the department is working on negotiating now.

As for the departments role in the field, Executive Director of Nations Associations Charities, Dr. Israel Suarez, says, the crime seems lower, but still present.

“From the beginning of the year until now, yes, we’re in good standard,” said Dr. Suarez. “The department is doing a good job and they open to do better.”

Suarez says the Dunbar community he works and lives in still has negative feelings towards the police, but the police are working to mend that relationship.

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

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky
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