FMPD announces reduction of the crime rate in Fort Myers

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia
Published: Updated:

Fort Myers Police Department held a news conference Thursday announcing that crime has dropped in the city. This was presented ahead of the release of the latest crime report.

FMPD spoke about the reduction of crime in Fort Myers, but the announcement comes just days after a deadly shooting.

From the 2017 and 2018 reports, the number of total crimes went down, but most major crimes like rape and murder stayed flat.

When Police Chief Derrick Diggs took charge of FMPD three years ago, he took over a department facing high crime and distrust among the ranks.

The taxpayer-funded, six-figure study done by University of Cincinnati says the police department is doing much better.

“They go out, and they’re not doing a standard model of policing,” said Daniel Gerard with Cincinnati. “It is narrowly focused on the people and places that drive crime.”

The researchers say results show Fort Myers crime is down 43% in the last three years.

But the Freeh Group report released this past November found FMPD’s various units do not communicate well with each other and singled out drug enforcement and understaffed specialty units.

Cincinatti researchers say their study’s numbers take a much deeper look at the department’s results, and it helps the department concentrate their technology and officers in certain high-crime areas.

For example, researchers found over half of the aggravated assaults in Fort Myers happened in a 1.1-square-mile radius near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Edison Avenue.

A majority of the crime map in Fort Myers shows activity in Councilman Johnny Street’s district. he told us his constituents wouldn’t agree there is a crime reduction.

An FMPD spokesperson said the Cincinnati study shows their strategies to reduce crime in the city are working.

“It helps them refine what they’re already doing,” Gerard said. “Sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes to look at something.”


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