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Guest opinion: CCPD exhibited professionalism in investigation, at trial

August 30, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

An Open Letter to the City of Cape Coral Police Department:

Recently, I had the privilege of representing the State of Florida in the prosecution of Yousel Rivera, Rivera had been charged by my office with Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer as a result of his having shot Officer David Wagoner three times, after Officer Wagoner made a traffic stop on the car in which Rivera was a passenger. Fortunately, Officer Wagoner survived this horrible incident and is back at work,

Beginning in the moments after the tragic shooting of Officer Wagoner and culminating during the past two weeks in the trial, the Cape Coral Police Department has shown the excellence, dedication, and the true professionalism for which it has become known.

The officers and forensic technicians who testified in the trial were all well prepared, professional and articulate. I know that they were a small percentage of the many Cape Coral Police Department's sworn officers, technicians, and civilian staff who coordinated and conducted the immediate investigation, as well as the apprehension of Rivera and the voluminous follow-up work in this case. Detective Christy Ellis did a great job in overseeing the investigation, as well as coordinating with our office in the trial preparation and presentation in court.

Officer Dave Wagoner was extraordinary in his focus and dedication to his duties at the time of the shooting under the most difficult of situations imaginable. His trial testimony was equally focused, precise, and compelling. It was gratifying to see the support he and his family were shown throughout this period, not only by the members of the Cape Coral Police Department, but also by our entire law enforcement community and the community as a whole.

In the over three decades that I have been with this office, this case above all has brought home the excellence in training, skill, and professionalism that the Cape Coral Police Department has achieved in recent years. The State Attorney's Office has enjoyed an increasingly cooperative and mutually respectful relationship with the Department.

The Cape Coral Police Department and the citizens of Cape Coral have every right to be proud.


Steve Russell

State Attorney

20th Circuit



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