Fort Myers Police Department continues to take steps to uphold transparency in the community and with the public at large. FMPD has made all its polices available online.
“Things change, the environment changes, the requirements on law enforcement change, the requirements that the public, the expectations change,” said Randy Jones, the accreditation manager for FMPD. “So it was a natural evolution we needed to make this available.”
Jones told us the social justice climate and the department’s spotty history sparked the change.
“For those policies and procedures to be effective it’s going to have to be more than a descriptive concept,” said James Muwakkil, the president of the Lee County NAACP.
When the local NAACP and law enforcement held roundtable discussions earlier this year, they had three specific demands — diversity in the ranks, more community policing and use of force transparency.
Muwakkil likes the words available to all, but he wants to see action.
“It’s getting to know people by their first names. It’s getting to know people in a way that they have your information before crime occurs because they trust you,” Muwakkil said. “Crime will get solved if we begin to see that type of interaction.”
FMPD hopes the community sees this as a sign of trust.
“The public wants transparency. The public is demanding transparency, and the public should have transparency,” Jones said. “We are a public service organization.”