HistorY

Department History

We have come a long way since the agency was first established in Fort Myers in 1885. Before that, the closes law enforcement was the Sheriff stationed in Key West – not exactly around the corner! On August 12, 1885, the villagers (yes, Fort Myers was then a village with a population of 349!) gathered at “The Academy,” a school on the corner of Second and Jackson Streets, to appoint Columbus L. Oliver to be the first Marshal of Fort Myers. His first assignment was to use police power to stop the cowboys from disturbing the peace with their boisterous celebrations.


Over the past 130+ years, under the leadership of the succession of 22 marshals and 22 chiefs, changes at the police department have reflected the tremendous growth of the City, resulting in a department today that has more than ____staff with officers and administration. In addition to personnel, the department has experienced an evolution in technology, training, vehicles and community engagement – moving forward every day to do their best to protect and serve the community.

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