|Published:||Aug 03, 2010 4:45 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 03, 2010 1:46 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Bond has been increased for a man accused of threatening to kill a Fort Myers police officer.
Officers were fearful last week when bond for Robert Caldwell was set at $50,000; that meant after paying just $5,000 he would be free.
Police Chief Doug Baker says no bond would be better for repeat offenders like these.
"It's just a continual revolving door in letting these individuals be arrested, get back out, be arrested, get back out," Baker said.
Baker says Caldwell is the latest example of the need for tougher laws on repeat offenders.
Caldwell was arrested last week, accused of threatening an officer during a traffic stop. He already had several arrests and convictions on his record, including drug and weapons charges.
A judge denied prosecutors' request for no bond on the threat arrest; instead, increasing the original $50,000 bond up to $90,000.
"At what point do you say, 'you're not getting the big picture here, you're continually re-offending' and they're violent charges," Baker said.
Baker has been pushing the legislature to approve The Widman Act, named after the Fort Myers officer who was gunned down by a repeat offender out on bond
The bill would give judges the option to deny bond until offenders can answer probation violations.
"It's a no-brainer to support that effort and to say, you know, this needs to take another look."
Baker says it's a matter of safety for everyone.
"It doesn't just protect law enforcement, it protects communities, and I think that's what's important here."
The Widman Act will be up for a third go-round in Tallahassee soon. While it passed the Florida House last year, it stalled in the Senate.