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Lee County School Board approves hiring of Cape Coral’s police chief for new safety role

Southwest Florida’s largest city needs a new chief, as the current prepares retire from the force to take on a new role in student safety and security.

Lee County School Board approved the hiring of Cape Coral’s police chief, Dave Newlan, Tuesday for a new safety position to ensure students are protected at schools.

The City of Cape Coral says the city manager is working on a plan to replace Newlan. The city did not go into detail about what that process will look like or what the timeline will be.

Cape Coral will have to act fast because, come Dec. 1, Newlan will be a School District of Lee County employee.

The school board’s approval marked a new beginning for Newlan as executive director of safety, security and emergency management with the District.

With 30 years of service for Cape Coral, Newlan says he would have to retire in February and was not ready to end his service.

“I’m not ready to retire,” Newlan said. “To me, I look at this as what’s more important than protecting our children, our future? To me, there is nothing more important than that. That’s our future.”

School safety is important to parents too. Mohammed Samad told us he is happy with the new addition for school safety.

“Especially with somebody like the chief with his record, I would kind of sort of feel more secure,” Samad said.

But several school board members do not think Newlan’s expected salary of over $100,000 is money well spent for the District. Some members believe that the money should be focused on hiring and taking care of teachers in classrooms.

“An executive position could fund at least two or three positions,” board member Gwynetta Gittens said.

“I do not want to spend one more nickel on created jobs for upper level administrative management until we get everything on an even keel,” board member Betsy Vaughn said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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