Fort Myers police ask for community support in solving homicides

Author: Andrew Scheinthal

FORT MYERS, Fla.- 11 homicides and only three arrests so far in 2014. It’s a statistic FMPD Chief Doug Baker says needs to change.

Baker was appointed to lead the force for another three years but he tells WINK News it will take more than just his detectives to put criminals behind bars. He says leadership in neighborhoods like Dunbar needs to step up.

“This formal and informal leadership within our black or African American community, because I don’t have white- on-white crime, I’m not having Hispanic-on-Hispanic, Latino crime; I’m having black-on-black crime and it’s homicides,” said Chief Baker.

Chief Baker’s time with the department hasn’t come without its difficulties.

“I need the community to come forward and to provide me with that information to make the arrest.”

Officials say the community can help solve some of the crimes, all they have to do is speak up.

That’s a message Abdul’Haq Muhammed, Executive Director of the Quality of Life Center, says he shares as often as he can.

“In order to have a safe and thriving community, it requires courage. For people to stand to protect their children and their futures,” said Muhammed.

Muhammed says it’s the futures of the youth he hopes the community thinks about the next time they see someone commit a crime.

Chief Baker says he’s more than willing to work with communites across Southwest Florida to keep witnesses safe. He hopes that will help anyone who has information to come forward.

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