|Published:||Feb 13, 2013 10:37 PM EST|
|Updated:||Feb 14, 2013 5:55 PM EST|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - UPDATE---
Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker says the city is considering sending out more letters in the near future, as well as sending to the city's Top 25 Juvenile Offenders.
Baker says the move is an attempt to curb crime before it happens.
"Our focus is to say 'we know where you're at, we know where you're going. We're going to monitor you and when you're in the city limits we expect you to act accordingly," said Baker.
The city's top cop says other law enforcement agencies that have used this tactic have seen a reduction in violent crimes.
Baker met with community activists and local leaders on Thursday to help spread his message to them, in hopes they can reach out to the letters reciepients.
The Fort Myers Police Chief is using a new tactic to try to curb crime. He's writing letters to some of the city's most violent criminals. In it, Chief Doug Baker warns them that they are being closely monitored. He also encourages them to turn their lives around.
"I wish to inform you that you have been identified as an individual on the 'Most Violent Offenders List" for the City of Fort Myers." The letter we obtained was mailed February 1st, to an unidentified person from Chief Baker. According to this letter, the recipient had been shot on two separate occasions in 2011 and 2012.
It reads, "I would hope this letter gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your chosen lifestyle and participation in activities that could possibly have you arrested... and land you in prison."
While Baker warns the offender, they will be "closely monitored" by Fort Myers Police," he adds, "should we be able to assist you in turning your life around, please do not hesitate to contact me."
Fort Myers rapper, Tonty T-Row Carnegie got one. He posted his letter on Facebook and it was met with skepticism. Community activist Anthony Thomas tells us it's going to take a lot more than a letter to curb violent crime. "I mean, the absurdity of this letter, it makes you want to laugh, but you have to keep in mind all the mothers who are weeping because their children have been killed and are victims of crime."
But Chief Baker has high hopes. He tells our partners at the News-Press, "In the event that they are in over their head and don't know how to get out, I would be more than happy to meet with them to use resources in our community to assist them in changing their life and going (in) a different direction."
Chief baker sent these letter to the city's 25 most violent offenders. He tells the News-Press that they're involved in 95 percent or more of local violent crime.