July 11, 2014
On Friday, July 11, 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.”
Detective John Price and Officer Jason Jackson are the Officers of the Month for June 2014. Detective Price and Officer Jackson are being honored for their outstanding performance during a burglary investigation which led to an arrest and successful conviction.
The police department received a call for service at 2622 Michigan Avenue in reference to an alarm activation. Upon arrival, officers observed that the rear door to the residence was unsecure and the home was empty. After making contact with the victim, the homeowner advised that the only item missing was a flat screen Vizio television; although the owner was unable to provide the serial number.
While processing the scene, a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious person walking down Avalon Place carrying a large television. Officer Jackson and Detective Price responded and made contact with the male, later identified as Torrey Walker. Although Detective Price observed Walker carrying the television, he could not verify it was stolen property due to not having the serial number. Detective Price decided to obtain the remote control for the stolen television from the victim and was able to verify that the remote control obtained from the victim operated the television Walker was carrying.
Torrey Walker was arrested and charged with burglary to a dwelling and grand theft. Due to the teamwork of the patrol officer and detective, a career criminal was removed from the streets of Fort Myers, thus keeping our citizens safe.
Community Policing Officer Sean Fitzpatrick is the Rib City Officer of the Month for June 2014. Officer Fitzpatrick is being honored for his exceptional work ethic since assuming his role as a West District Community Policing Coordinator.
Officer Fitzpatrick was tasked with working with the owners of the Sphinx Hookah Lounge as well as the Hookah Master due to numerous complaints from citizens. Citizen complaints advised that both bars were nuisances to the point where officers were shot at in the parking lot of the Sphinx in 2013.
After numerous attempts to work with the bar owners, with no cooperation, both hookah lounges were served with a Provisional Order. Both businesses failed to comply with the directive and were ordered to appear before the Code Enforcement Board.
Officer Fitzpatrick was present at the hearing and presented the facts of the case. His presentation was not only professional and impressive, but it facilitated the board’s actions to mandate their final judgment. As a result of Officer Fitzpatrick’s tenacity and investigation, it was ordered that the Sphinx Hookah Lounge be closed down permanently and the Hookah Master shut down at 2 a.m. instead of staying open all night.
By closing down the Sphinx Lounge and cutting down on the Hookah Master’s operational hours, both the officers and the citizens of Fort Myers are much safer. Officer Fitzpatrick is commended for his determination, drive, and follow through displayed during this lengthy investigation.
An undercover narcotics detective has been named the East Fort Myers Rotary Officer of the Month for June 2014. This detective was selected for his commitment to removing violent drug dealers off the streets of Fort Myers.
Over the last three months, this Special Investigations Group Detective has been the lead investigator for 10 search warrants in the City of Fort Myers. As a result, eight suspects have been charged with a variety of crimes to include possession with intent to sell narcotics, sale of a controlled substance, and possession of firearms by convicted felons. In addition to the charges, seven illegal firearms were seized including one .22 caliber long rifle with a silencer and scope.
Our narcotics detective is commended for his hard work and dedication toward keeping our community safe in the pursuit of ridding our streets of dangerous drugs and felons who possess firearms.
Please join me in congratulating all our award winners!