‘Bridging the Gap’: Community awareness forum planned in Fort Myers

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Photo by WINK News.

“Bridging the gap.” That’s the message behind a community awareness forum taking place this week in Fort Myers.

City Councilman Johnny Streets and other leaders are on a mission to build better relationships between the community and police after recent deadly shootings of people of color.

Streets is striving to start a movement in our community.

“It’s been too long that we haven’t had police reform, and to be honest with you, I want people to understand this is not us against them, this is not a group of people against the police department,” he said.

He said it’s about making changes and reforms, not only in government and law enforcement across the country, but also within the people who live in these neighborhoods. Building a strong relationship between law enforcement and the people is what the “bridging the gap” movement is all about.

“Peace and bringing people together because we’ve been divided too long, so it’s an opportunity and we need to take it, and accountability and responsibility, all those things are very important today.”

He said by reaching out to our younger generations, it opens the opportunity to guide them on how to handle interactions with police.

“Be mindful of what we are and what we’re doing, and we want to be able to tell our story another day instead of getting into an altercation and not being able to tell our story,” Streets said.

He said he learned from a young age to respect authority, and having the community also support our men and women in blue will help bring everyone together.

“What’s driving me is what’s been instilled in my life even coming up as a child, if you can help somebody, try to be the person that can give advice and listen to what the communities are saying.” 

At the “Bridging the Gap” event Thursday, they’ll be speaking about young adults knowing their rights and knowing what to do if pulled over by an officer.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the STARS Complex, 2980 Edison Ave. Streets and FMPD officers will be in attendance.

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