To the editor:
As a resident of Cape Coral for 44 years, coming here three years before the city was incorporated, I have witnessed the good and bad of our fine community as it's grown. I have seen the work of all those dedicated individuals who have devoted themselves to making this city a great place to live. A few have been honored by the city council by having a city facility named after them. Others facilities bear the names of virtually unknowns who apparently had made political "friends" in council and were rewarded.
Several years ago when a new baseball facility was finished, I petitioned the council to name it after two men who dedicated thousands of hours of volunteer time, money, sweat and tears to the youth of the community in sports, Joe Koza and Vince Saladino, They acted positively and these deserving men were so honored. One of the nice things about this action was the fact Joe and Vince were still living to appreciate the recognition of their service.
Before anyone comes up with an idea of naming the new police building after some "politically correct" individual, there is one outstanding member of this community who has lived here some four decades, and one of the first members of the Cape Coral Police Department.
Roger Butler didn't only come to the city in its infancy to head the department's detective division, but took an immediate interest in making the community a fine place to live and raise our kids. He served on both the Little League and Pop Warner football boards when we had only one field to play on, striving to raise tens of thousands in funds to give hundreds of our kids the chance to become fine citizens thru sports. Many of those boys and girls are the pillars of our city today. As commander of detectives he led the investigation and arrest of the brutal killer of Little Leaguer Jason Verdow, who the Cape's first baseball field is named after.
Roger was awarded three Officer of the Year honors , and graduated from the FBI National Academy while he served the city through many successful crime investigations that shaped our city into one of the safest in Florida. After retirement, Butler didn't give up serving his city, serving two terms as Mayor, guiding the council in the construction of the new city hall, opening of the Midpoint bridge, and extension of Veteran's Parkway, Cultural Boulevard and Diplomat, all important to the financial growth of the city. I never have known any resident or official that has done so much for our city through such a long period of time than Roger Butler. In view of his long and distinguished service to the police department from its first days, the city as Mayor, and his outstanding and unselfish giving of his time to youth activities, it would only be fitting to name this new police facility in his honor. It would be so fitting to this humble man to actually see his service appreciated by the community he has done so much for.
Before another "politically inspired" move is made again, I urge the council to seriously consider naming the police building in honor of a man who has done probably more than any resident for the welfare, safety and genuine service of the citizens than anyone, Roger Butler.