Thursday, March 02, 2017
Save Our Recreation Update
Not much news lately. We give a big “thank you” to all who have been helping staff our tables and getting petitions signed.
The biggest news is our fundraiser at Fathoms Restaurant & Bar on Saturday, March 11th from 1:00 to 4:00. Please go to www.SaveOurRecreation.us
for a list of our local businesses who have very generously donated auction items to support our cause. See attached Flyer for more details. Please spread the word and feel free to post the Flyer to Facebook. Hope to see many of you there.
No hearings or public meetings have yet been set for any of the Florida Gulf Ventures or DR Horton applications. We did get a communication from the Cape Coral Police Chief about their patrolling of the golf course. I said I would share it with this group and it is below.
Mary, Barth and Anne
Florida Gulf Venture, the recorded owner of the closed golf course, recently put up no trespassing signs and, according to the company, also sent out letters to all the residents surrounding the property, advising residents to refrain from going onto the property since it is private property.
Like any other businesses and/or organizations in the City of Cape Coral, Florida Gulf Venture can hire an off-duty detail, which is predicated on the actual or potential use of law enforcement powers. The Cape Coral Police Department authorizes many details like this. The entity contracting the detail pays a standard hourly rate to the City. That rate pays for the officer, equipment, and insurance, as well as various administrative costs. The cost of the detail is borne by the entity contracting with the City for the detail, not the taxpayer. This is standard practice across the state of Florida, and indeed, across most police departments around the country, with some variation in how the programs are administered.
Off-duty details, such as this, not only benefit the entity contracting the detail, but they serve a public good through the deterrence and prevention of criminal acts, and to educate and provide information to the public. The use of off-duty police officers allows for additional police presence in a specific area, for a specific time, without further taxing the on-duty resources of the department. Officers working such details are exercising their constitutional authority as police officers only. Cape Coral Police officers do not enforce the policies or procedures of any private entity at any off-duty detail. The concept of off-duty details, provides a presence that decreases criminal opportunity and makes the public feel safe.
In this case, Florida Gulf Venture has contracted with the City of Cape Coral to hire off-duty officers, for a specific time frame, through the established off-duty detail process. The officers working this off-duty detail are providing additional police presence on this multi-acre site, a derelict golf course. The focus of this off-duty detail is to educate and provide information to the residents in the area of this recent change of “no trespassing” on the property. In order to carry out that function, the officers are authorized to use the equipment issued to them by the Cape Coral Police Department, which includes the use of uniforms, personal equipment, and a police vehicle (just as they would if they were patrolling this multi-acre site while on duty).
Officers have been notifying citizens, with whom they come in contact, that the site is private property, that “no trespassing” signs have now been posted, and are asking them to leave the property. The citizens we have encountered have been very understanding.
I understand that this situation has not evolved in the way that many citizens would have preferred. That said, the owner, Florida Gulf Venture, has taken all reasonable and necessary steps to notify residents in the area.
Please feel free to contact me if you need further information.
David Newlan, Chief
Cape Coral Police Department