City of Sanibel disputes allegations of disbanding their police department


SANIBEL, Fla. — On August 12 the Sanibel City Manager, Dana Souza, released a letter to the public disputing the allegations made by the Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 33 on Facebook about Sanibel disbanding their police department.

The unknown author behind the August 9 Facebook post accused the Mayor of Sanibel, Holly Smith, of attempting to have closed meetings without the Chief of Police William Dalton. Souza said this is just one of the many lies made in the post. 

“Collectively city council and city administration think highly of our police force and the men and women that serve there.”

Souza said he was made aware that the police organization made this FaceBook post claiming that the City of Sanibel was wanting to disband the Sanibel Police department.

Souza put out this response to that Facebook post and this letter to make sure everyone knew this was not true.

“An executive session as it relates to contracts and negotiations or any other legal matters is lawful in Florida provided that it meets certain criterion  and the mayor is not the one who makes the decision who will be in those meetings. It’s me or if it’s a legal matter, it will be the city attorney.”

Souza said another accusation that stood out to him is where the author said “the mayor doesn’t back the blue but only the green in the form of money and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office,” and that Mayor Smith had been making inquiries about bringing in the Sheriff’s Office to save money.  


Which Souza again said isn’t true because The City of Sanibel has worked alongside LCSO for years. 

“This is no reflection on the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. We have a great relationship with Sheriff Marceno and all of his staff. We have mutual aid agreements,” Souza said. “That doesn’t mean that one jurisdiction …one agency will replace another. Sanibel Police Department as far as I’m concerned and everything that I’ve heard from our council will be in place for a long period of time.”

The City Manager also said that the city has such a low crime rate because of the teamwork with LCSO, but also because of the Sanibel Police Department’s presence and professionalism. Souza wants everyone to know that these are all false claims. 

“There is no intention to disband the Sanibel Police Department.”

We reached out to the Cape Coral FOP and was told a lodge representative would get back with us on this, but we have not heard back yet at this time.

We have also reached to Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith for a comment and have not heard back yet. 

Tags: allegationsCape Coral Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33City managerCity of Sanibeldisbanding policeMayorSanibel Police Department


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