The popular TV show “Cops” could return to Southwest Florida.
Police Chief Derrick Diggs pushed for the return of the show during the Monday Fort Myers City Council meeting, and we looked at why the show could help FMPD.
“Cops” has a history in Fort Myers, having worked with FMPD four previous times. The last time was in 2017 when Diggs was still settling into his position as chief of police in Fort Myers.
His job was to clean up the department, and Diggs believed the show would help change the public’s perception of his department and even help recruit officers.
“We ain’t got nothing to hide,” Diggs said in 2017. “And we’re gonna make sure that they see the things that our officers do. And we’re doing some things different now.”
Diggs hopes city council will approve a return of “Cops” to Fort Myers.
Councilman Kevin Anderson, a former FMPD officer, is supportive of the idea.
“I think this is a great opportunity for the police department to showcase how far they’ve come in the last several years,” Anderson said.
If council approves the “Cops” contract, Chief Diggs will get a final say on what makes it into the show.
While Fort Myers police would not say whether police recruitment spiked after “Cops” came to town, an FMPD spokesperson told us he believes another visit by the show could help fill the current 14 open positions.
Councilman Anderson points to both a reduction in crime and the increase in high technology as reasons to do the show again.
“I can remember how TV cop shows didn’t really do a lot of justice for police departments because they weren’t really realistic,” Anderson said. “And cops was filmed on scene, and it really shows people what the men and women of law enforcement are actually going through and what they’re doing.”