|Published:||Jul 13, 2012 6:21 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 13, 2012 6:42 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Councilman Johnny Streets is putting out a plan to combat violence in Ft. Myers. He wants more community policing, and more money for youth programs and other efforts to keep the city and young people safe
"This violence is a major threat to our city and to all of us, even outside the city," said Streets, a retired police officer with 26 years of experience. "We are getting a reputation as the murder capitol of Southwest Florida. That does not sit well with me."
Ft. Myers has recorded 15 murders this year, compared to 11 all of last year. The record for a single year is 20.
"We need to have more community policing, with officers working the same neighborhoods, getting to know people, and getting to know what is going on in the community, before someone calls in a squad car for help. We need to get programs for the young people to do positive things and stay out of trouble. In days past, we had little league and we had teachers involved in kids' lives and parents involved and social service groups involved, and it worked out better. It kept us out of this violence. I'd like to see us get back to that," said Streets.
He believes the city will find money for more programs and to fight the problems because its reputation is on the line.
"If we don't act on this situation, it will cost us in businesses that will not come here. It is also a problem that is bigger than just the city. The violence can spread to other parts of the county. It may be Cape Coral tomorrow," Streets told WINK News.
He said he welcomes help from the Lee Sheriff in patrolling city streets.
"Do what is necessary, don't just talk about, but act. We as leaders need to get involved on a day to day basis, not to micro-manage, but to show that we care," said Streets.