On Friday, November 8, 2013 the Fort Myers Police Department honored several employees at a monthly award ceremony. FMPD strives every day to not only protect and serve the residents of the City of Fort Myers, but to make it a better place to live. “It is our policy to recognize employees of exemplary performance of their duties” said Chief Doug Baker. “We appreciate their heroics and the hard work that these men and women put in each day.”
On October 20, 2013, officers responded to a fatal pedestrian crash at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Page Field Commons. Officer Lesa Breneman was the on-call Traffic Homicide Investigator and responded to the scene. Officer Breneman obtained a good description of the suspect’s vehicle from witnesses. She also was able to provide media with a description of damage to the vehicle based on evidence left behind at the scene. Two days later, Officer Breneman located the suspect’s vehicle from a Crime Stoppers tip. Further information, evidence and investigation led to the arrest of suspect for leaving the scene of a crash involving death. Officer Breneman was commended for her aggressive and thorough investigative skills, which resulted with suspect being quickly apprehended and brought to justice. Hopefully giving the victim’s family a bit of closure now that the person responsible for their loved ones death is behind bars.
On October 10, 2013 Officer Stephen Smith and Officer Sarah Harris were dispatched to an elementary school in reference to a disturbance involving a 10 year old child. Upon arrival, the officers were informed that a boy had left his class and had climbed on the roof of the school. Officer Smith and Officer Harris obtained a ladder from the custodian and climbed to the roof of the school. They made contact with the boy and after speaking with him for an hour, the officers were able to convince the juvenile to climb off the roof using the ladder. The officers were also able to provide the boy’s mother with resources and counseling information. The officers were commended for their compassion, professionalism and teamwork that clearly assisted with bringing the situation to a successful conclusion.
Community Policing Officers Glenn Eppler and Dan Riley will be honored by the East Fort Myers Rotary Club for their efforts that led to several arrests for illegal drug sales at area convenience stores. The officers requested the assistance of the FMPD Special Investigations Group to combat a crime trend they saw in their ward. The officers advised they were seeing drug activity coming from two of the stores in their ward. It was not the typical drug activity, but sales of synthetic marijuana known as “spice” being sold from the stores. During this time, Attorney General Pam Bondi released amendments to the drug laws stating that these substances were illegal and considered an immediate danger to the citizens of Florida. The officers first drafted a letter to be sent to all convenience stores in the city to educate them on the new law and to put the stores on notice that sales of synthetic drugs would not be tolerated. The officers then coordinated with the other community policing officers to have the letters served to the stores. The next step was to see if the stores were in compliance. Detectives made thirteen undercover purchases from three stores within the city. The undercover operations led to eight sale charges against three suspects. The officers also stayed in contact with the detectives and assisted in the location and apprehension of the suspects. The officers were commended for their ability to identify, analyze and solve problems for the City in which they serve.