Q: Is the Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33 the same as the Cape Coral Police Department?
A: Cape Coral FOP Lodge 33 is a labor organization of active and retired law enforcement officers from Cape Coral as well as nearby Lee County communities. We sponsor initiatives throughout the year that encourage positive relationships between residents and police officers, as well as support our citizens, particularly children and families facing financial hardships. So while we are not the same as the Cape Coral Police Department, we are very closely aligned.
Q: What are some of the initiatives that the FOP Lodge 33 sponsors?
A: We love showing love to our hometown. Our annual community outreach and fundraising activities include The Cape Coral Mayor’s Scholarship Fund, holiday gifts and back-to school supplies for local families in need, Cape Coral youth sports programs, injured officer assistance and the Fallen Officer Memorial Fund, and The Blue Line Bear Program for Children of Fallen Heroes. We also enjoy partnering every year with local Walmart stores to present the Holiday Heroes Food Drive, supporting the Harry Chapin Food Bank. In short, wherever we see an unserved need that benefits the most vulnerable and most at risk, we do whatever we can to help.
Q: How many years have active duty officers had to manage without compensation adjustments?
A: Since around 2009. That’s when FOP Lodge 33 members who were active duty officers in the CCPD helped alleviate the budgetary constraints facing the City of Cape Coral by voluntarily surrendering pay and benefits as a short-term fix during the Great Recession. Unfortunately, it’s now ten years later and those concessions still have not been restored.
Q: Does the City of Cape Coral have the money to fix this imbalance in compensation?
A: Yes. It has the finances in its coffers to correct the imbalances. We have a good relationship with the City and the community at large, but there has been an unacceptable lack of administrative changes made to make things fair again.
Q: How does compensation for police officers in Cape Coral compare to that in other Florida cities?
A: Cape Coral officers as well as the Lee County Sheriff’s Office are generally compensated at a much lower level than our counterparts in cities like Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Coral Springs and Clearwater. We’re close in compensation to officers in Tallahassee—which has about twice as many officers per 1,000 citizens than we do, covering a smaller area. People don’t realize that only 200-plus officers on the CCPD protect over 105 square miles of territory. You can download our comparison chart to see for yourself.
Q: Is there anything I can do as in individual can do to make sure the City knows I support #FairCompensationEndsFrustration?
A: We invite you to follow us on social media and share our posts to your own pages. That will help us build awareness. You can also write or e-mail your district council representative to express your feelings on the issue and your support of Cape Coral FOP Lodge 33.
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