|Published:||Jul 01, 2013 10:22 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 01, 2013 11:46 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, FL--A petition to consolidate the Lee County Sheriff's office and Fort Myers Police has enough signatures to possibly bring it up for a vote in November.
For the past year and a half, Raymond Aulen has been hard at work gaining signatures for his petition to consolidate LCSO and FMPD.
"It just prevents the overlapping for services," said Aulen.
And now with almost 28,000signatures, the petition has reached the requirements to possibly go up for a vote in the November election.
Aulen says if the two departments became one, it would save tax payers nearly $25 million a year.
"You have two departments that are out there and they are not really communicating with each other, you have jurisdictional issues and a lot of problems," said Aulen.
"Clearly the petition is false," said Florida Police Benevolent Association president Matthew Sellers.
Sellers says if the two entities combined, the city would still have to pay up.
"The city would have to continue to fund pensions for hundreds of officers," said Sellers.
In a statement, Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker says this petition has mislead people about the amount of savings a consolidation would bring.
Baker also says "Two people attempting to buck the system for personal gain should not be given so much credence. We are working with city staff to bring forth accurate information."
"If the public comes out and says hey, this is a better way to do it, and this is going to save us money and we are going to have better results, I think that is probably how it has to be done," said Aulen.
The city will now have to count the votes. If passed, the petition would give the two departments a year to consolidate.