West District Commander Matt Powell has a new post after Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott announced several appointments to new positions within the department recently.
Powell, a former Fort Myers Beach resident who was a captain for the Charlie District, has been promoted to major. He will be the Patrol Bureau Commander for the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
"As a patrol commander, you are in charge of all the districts," said Powell. "I'm excited. I just like being a cop. I've always liked serving the people, affecting the crime and doing the little things for the good of the community."
Powell, who was born in Chicago, moved to the area when he was four years old and attended Cypress Lake High School. He began his career at the Lee County Sheriff's Office in 1988 as a patrol deputy in Bonita Springs. His resume includes terms as a member of the Narcotics Field Support Unit, General Crimes Detective, Narcotics Detective, SWAT Team Member, Clean Task Force Detective and Internal Affairs Investigator.
Prior to his employment with Lee County Sheriff's Office, Powell served four years with the U.S. Coast Guard. He holds an Associated Degree in Criminal Justice from Edison College and is married with two children.
Powell became district commander when Scott took office nearly five years ago.
"When he won the election, I received the phone call from him," he said. "He wanted me to be the district commander."
Commanding the West/Charlie District will now be newly appointed Captain Matt Leclair, who was Powell's assistant, and Lieutenant Mike Ciolino.
"They were pivotal while I was there," said Powell about LeClair and Ciolino. "They were brought up and groomed for what they are doing. Matt and I worked together for years. We were in undercover together, worked on the streets in narcotics together and on the SWAT team together. He brings a lot to the table."
FMB Mayor Larry Kiker extended his congratulations to Powell and commended him on the job he has done on the Beach.
"He's been one of the best assets Fort Myers Beach has ever had," he said. "We're really going to miss him and wish him all the success and luck in the world. "
Other appointments to new positions made by Scott were announced Wednesday, Nov. 25, and are effective immediately: Chief Deputy - Dale R. Homan; Colonel - James "Gill" Allen (Law Enforcement); Colonel - Tom Ellegood (Corrections); Major - Tom Eberhardt (Corrections-Ortiz Site); Major - Jim Barraco (Corrections-Downtown Site); and Sergeant - Rob Kizzire (West/Charlie District).
Scott released the following statement that day: "Earlier this year several members of our Executive Command Staff retired and I chose not to replace those positions immediately. That decision was made to afford me ample time to revisit the command structure of our organization and consider candidates for that structure. It's based on many different factors, none the least of which include the enormous responsibilities of the Lee County Sheriff's Office."