Exclusive: Fort Myers councilman calls for change at police department
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Fort Myers city councilman is taking issue with the Fort Myers Police Department and the way its run.
In an exclusively obtained letter, City Councilman Johnny Streets addressed problems with the Fort Myers Police Department and the need for change.
"This is the first time that Mr. Streets has put anything in writing," said City Manager Billy Mitchell.
Dated July 17, it says there's a "deficit of effective leadership and supervision" within the department. It highlights "key deficiencies" in policies, procedures and in the "handling of disciplinary matters that are seen as harsh and ineffective."
The memo also says, Many issues pertaining to discipline, communications and compartmentalization to low [morale] stem from perhaps a deficiency in management. Also, some supervisors do not have the experience or proper direction to scrutinize some of their subordinates."
Fox 4 wanted more specifics but Streets didn't return our calls or emails. The memo was addressed to Mitchell, who is talking about Streets's memo.
"How do you feel about management at the police department, about the way things are run?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann to Mitchell. "I'm more concerned about Mr. Streets perspective," he replied.
Streets served on the Fort Myers Police Department for 26 years. He was awarded "Top Cop" in Florida two years in a row. Mitchell says he's willing to hear him out.
"He raises some issues related to police management and effectiveness and I've scheduled a meeting to talk to him about those issues," explained Mitchell.
Two other council members don't seem to agree with Streets. They support Police Chief Doug Baker.
"Would you like to see a change in leadership at the police department?" Sarann asked Teresa Brown, a city councilwoman. "I am of this persuasion that Doug Baker is there and right now he's doing his job," she replied.
To Councilman Forrest Banks, Sarann asked, "Would you like to see leadership at the police department stay the way it is?" Banks replied, "I'm a supporter of the chief."
The Fort Myers Police Department did not return our call for comment.