FMPD’s Gang Suppression Unit named ‘Florida Gang Unit of the Year’

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The Fort Myers Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit was named the Florida Gang Unit of the Year Friday by the Florida Gang Investigators Association.

The GSU started in 2016, with a focus on gangs and members involved in violent crimes like robberies, shootings and homicides within the city, according to a press release.

Chief Derrick Diggs credited the unit with preventing “probably about five mass shooting incidents” in a two-month period last fall.

“This is an outstanding group of law enforcement professionals that are a shining example of how the FMPD is stepping up to battle gang violence within our city,” captain Jay Rodriguez said.

During the first 10 months of the operation, the GSU made 140 arrests, leading to 150 felony and 131 misdemeanor charges. The unit’s work also led to the seizure of 62 firearms and the confiscation of hundreds of grams of illegal drugs from known gang members, police said.

Unit members have also taken an active role with the city’s youth by speaking at public events about the dangers of joining and participating in the gang lifestyle, the release said.

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