FORT MYERS, Fla.- The shootings in Miami and St. Petersburg have raised concerns about the safety of officers serving warrants. In 2008, the Fort Myers Police Department experienced their own tragedy. Officer Andrew Widman,30, was fatally shot in downtown area, while he was on duty. He was checking on a domestic argument, when the man involved took his life.
"He approached an individual who was on probation for burglary, robbery, possesion of a firearm, and had been picked up at the beach and arrested for trafficking cocaine. He bonded out. He did have a warrant for him. It was for violation of probation," said Doug Baker, the Fort Myers Police Chief.
There was no way Widman could have know Abel Arango,26, was a dangerous criminal. That's why Chief Baker is working with lawmakers to prevent another tragedy. Baker believes the Andrew Widman Act will save lives, if enacted into law.
"We believe that in the event that you are a violent offender on probation, and you re-offend, you should be remanded into custody to the point where we don't have to go back and look for you," explained Baker.
Chief Baker doesn't believe the bill will be a safeguard for everything, but says it will keep violent criminals behind bars longer.