City Council says FMPD won’t merge with LCSO; discussion ends

Fort Myers Police Department will continue serving the community in Fort Myers.

This comes after a lengthy discussion and more than 100 people showing up to the Fort Myers City Council meeting Monday in support of the police department.

A lot of people from different backgrounds spoke in favor of the police.

People came from around the state to show their support for FMPD. Not a single person who spoke wanted the police department to be merged with Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Many speakers wondered why this was a topic on the agenda in the first place.

On the heels of National Police week, a sea of people in blue shirts flooded the lobby and city council chambers.

Many speakers worried about what a merger would do for the safety of Fort Myers, including the people police officers are responsible for putting behind bars.

Councilman Fred Burson says he wanted this discussion after it came out that Police Chief Derrick Diggs is up for police chief in Columbus, Ohio.

But speakers reminded him they voted no on this merger idea eight years ago.

In the end, every member of city council agreed. They each said the force has greatly improved since Diggs became chief, and the city is safer. They said they didn’t support this idea and support their local police department.

The city council said the conversation about a merger ended Monday night, but concerns about where the police department goes next came up now that Diggs is intending to leave the city.

Councilman Johnny Streets said he wishes him well, but if he doesn’t get the job, he wants to keep him as chief of Fort Myers Police Department.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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