On Friday, February 14, 2014 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.”
Over the past several months, there have been numerous vehicle burglaries reported along the McGregor Boulevard Corridor. The West District Community Policing Officers have conducted numerous operations to combat the ongoing burglary trend and dedicated numerous hours of their time to prevent further crime.
On November 26, 2013 Officer Sean Fitzpatrick was conducting door to door checks in the West District trying to gather information on the burglaries. Officer Fitzpatrick gathered intelligence that led him to specific suspect. Officer Fitzpatrick made contact with the suspect at his residence, and received consent from the suspect’s grandfather to search a bedroom. Officer Fitzpatrick immediately observed numerous items of stolen property located inside the bedroom, which were later linked to numerous burglaries off McGregor Boulevard.
Officer Fitzpatrick’s strong perseverance in seeking out the suspects was the key to solving numerous burglaries in the area and stopping the crime trend that plagued the district. This incident is just one example of the many investigations and/or follow ups that Officer Fitzpatrick either initiates or assists with on a daily basis. He is consistently a peak performer and a solution seeker. Officer Fitzpatrick was presented with the January 2014 Rib City Officer of the Month Award.
On September 8, 2013 Detective Michael Walsh of the Violent Crimes Unit responded to the Lee Memorial Hospital regarding a sexual assault upon a juvenile female victim, who was subsequently shot by the suspect. Detective Walsh spoke with officers on scene and learned that an unknown suspect, known only by a nickname was responsible for this heinous crime. The suspect sexually assaulted the victim as she walked home from the store and fired a single bullet at her. The bullet traveled along the victim’s face and into her shoulder. Fortunately, her injuries were not life threatening.
In an effort to identify the perpetrator of this crime, Detective Walsh along with additional officers, began following up on addresses given to them in reference to possible locations of the suspect. Following a canvass of the area, Detective Walsh spoke with a black male who identified himself by the known nickname, at a nearby apartment complex. The suspect was positively identified but denied any involvement and provided Detective Walsh with a DNA swab. This suspect was subsequently arrested for outstanding warrants.
The DNA results positively identified the suspect as the individual that committed the sexual battery and shot the victim. Due to Detective Walsh’s ability to command and direct the investigation, along with his detailed observation and interview skills, and his direction to preserve and collect evidence; a violent criminal was brought to justice. Detective Walsh was presented with the January 2014 East Fort Myers Rotary Officer of the Month.
On January 3, 2014 Officer Michael Perry and Officer Illia Movalli responded to 1573 Mathew Drive in reference to a female who had possibly overdosed. The officers quickly responded to the scene and within minutes located the female who was unresponsive and not breathing.
Officer Perry and Officer Movalli immediately sprang into action and began to administer CPR. Officer Movalli gave chest compressions and Officer Perry provided rescue breathing for approximately four minutes until EMS arrived on scene. EMS personnel advised, if not for the quick response of Officer Perry and Officer Movalli and their excellent knowledge of how to properly administer CPR, the victim most likely would not have survived.
Officer Perry and Officer Movalli recently participated in CPR Block training as part of their Florida Officer Certification. This training was provided by certified in-house agency instructors, led by the training division. It is clear by the actions of these officers; they absorbed the training and as a result – saved a life! Officer Perry and Officer Movalli were presented with the January 2014 Employee Service Award.