Officers, deputies to conduct joint patrols to stem violence

Author: Stanley B. Chambers Jr.
Published: Updated:
Fort Myers police vehicle

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Fort Myers police officers and Lee County deputies will participate in joint patrols to help stem recent violence in the city, police spokesman Lt. Victor Medico said.

Officers and deputies will ride together to patrol high crime areas. The effort will start in the “near future,” Medico said.

“Just to focus on just that; not answering calls for service, not worrying about traffic violations, strictly violent crime and violent crime offenders and people that will be identified as being involved,” Chief Dennis Eads with the Fort Myers Police Department said.

The effort comes two days after seven people, including a 5-year-old boy, were shot during four different shooting incidents on Wednesday. All are expected to survive their injuries.

Three of the four shootings are connected, including a father and son who were shot separately, Chief Eads said. No arrests or suspect information were announced as of Friday.

The shootings occurred as city leaders discussed ways to reduce violence in Fort Myers.

The shootings overshadowed Thursday’s city council budget meeting, where Mayor Randy Henderson announced a task force focused on reducing violence in the city. The group is expected to include local law enforcement and city officials, as well as local and state politicians, Henderson said.

“I’m very much looking forward to pursuing this assertively,” he said Thursday. “I want to emerge out of this task force experience with a better understanding of the resources we have to deploy, and I want to know specifically how we’re going to get these guys off our streets.”

Community leaders say they believe this is a step in the right direction.

“We have to come forward, it’s our community! That’s like me never cleaning my home and expecting it to get clean,” Tasheeka Perry, a minister at Mount Hermon Ministries said.
“We’ve got a major assignment on our hands, our city needs us and our people need us, so let’s get it done,” Pastor Gregory Ford with First Assembly of Cornerstone Ministry said.


Chief Eads says he hopes to have officers and deputies riding together by next week.

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