Public safety report questions FMPD

Warren Wright

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Public safety report questions FMPD

CREATED Nov. 11, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A report critical of Fort Myers Police Department staffing comes to light.

A few months back, Sheriff Mike Scott said he had concerns regarding the amount of 911 roll over calls from FMPD to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff pointed out that from January through August, close to 10,000 calls rolled over from Fort Myers to Lee County Sheriff's Office.
According to the Fort Myers Police Department, the problem is cell phone towers.  
FMPD said it can prove cell phone calls made near its downtown headquarters bounce off local towers and go directly to Lee County dispatch.
FMPD just wants the networking system to be more efficient.
Captain James Mulligan said,  "the fact is when somebody calls 9-1-1 they want an answer... and that's what the system is designed to do and does."
But there is another issue.
Lee County Public Safety commissioned an independent agency to study the FMPD dispatch center.
It points out that the Florida state 911 plan requires emergency calls be answered within ten seconds, 90 percent of the time. 
However, FMPD isn't even coming close.  
More than 30% of its calls fall under the abandoned category.
The report's final observation says, "The FMPD operations are simply understaffed." 
In fact, it suggested FMPD should nearly double its operation from 20 to 35 people.
On top of that, the report questions why would dispatch personnel be forced to take a furlough day each month like all other city employees, considering the nature of their position.
FMPD explained that it has made the request to hire the extra personnel.
However, the Fort Myers City Council has yet to provide them the increase in budget.
Warren Wright