FORT MYERS, Fla.- Fort Myers Police investigated 10 homicides this year. That's compared to a record 24 last year.
Fort Myers Police point to several new initiatives that helped bring crime down. Lt. Victor Medico says, "the violent crimes task force out there tracking our felons, taking guns from convicted felons' hands day in and day out, could be our initiatives in the community- our foot patrols in the neighborhoods that have a historically higher propensity to violent crime, the faith based partnership with the clergy in the community, that's something started in 2013."
Medico adds, "our department has shown we will try just about anything to reduce violent crime. We attack it from every angle but that's only half the equation, the rest comes from the community support. That's supporting us going out and doing our job, and supporting at those crimes past occurred when we show up that we'll get their help."
Of the 10 homicides this year, 7 are unsolved. Police arrested six people on homicide charges this year, 3 for crimes this year and 3 for crimes last year. Medico says police need your help to solve these cases. "What we do want for 2014 is the increased participation from the community to see something, say something. Be a good witness, come forward, help us solve that crime where we're showing up after it happened and there's 20 or 30 people who were present. That's the other half of the puzzle that will help us take that number from 10 down to 0. We attack it from every angle but that's only half the equation, the rest comes from the community support. That's supporting us going out and doing our job, and supporting at those crimes past occurred when we show up that we'll get their help."
He says new community foot patrols have made a big difference. "I think it's paying great dividends, we have officers out in the community pretty much for several hours at a time and they're making contact with people who live there, who don't live there, new faces coming into the area. It's a very nice presence," he says.
The violent crimes task force plays a big role as well. "We seize guns on a daily, weekly basis and those are weapons that are used to facilitate the crimes we're talking about so taking those by the hundreds is definitely impacting," he says.
There were 20 homicides in 2011, 7 in 2010 and 17 in 2009.