Lee County Officer of the Year finalists: Fort Myers Police Lt. Nichole Greene

Reporter: Corey Lazar Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

In the run-up to Saturday’s Law and Order Ball at the FSW Arena, WINK News will introduce you to each of the five candidates being considered for Lee County Officer of the Year.

Lt. Nichole Greene leads one of the most high-liability units within the Fort Myers Police Department, and she is the first supervisor to get alerted to violent crimes in the city.

Recently, FMPD finalized its plans to hunt down a suspect on the run. Greene was called out to the staging area to supervise the operation. But it was actually not a criminal mission at all—it was a set-up for a surprise announcement that Greene had been nominated for Officer of the Year.

“A little overwhelmed… I wasn’t sure what’s going on,” Greene said. “They did a good ruse to get me here.”

Greene has worked for FMPD for 16 years. She helped create and leads the Group Violence Intervention Unit.

“This unit started about five years ago,” Greene said. “I was the first one. I actually started with just me and I had a project manager civilian, and I built the unit up to now; we have 10 guys and a sergeant as well as myself.”

Greene’s team is on the front lines to ensure there is no retaliatory violence in the future and that other crime doesn’t spill over into Fort Myers.

“We went away from the old style of policing, and we started a data-driven policing to aim at the most violent offenders in the city,” Greene said. “We work with John Jay University, a university out of New York City, and we took their model that they use, and we collected data over a five-year period in the City of Fort Myers to know who [is] the .06% of the population that were driving the 60 to 70% of the violent crime, so we started targeting our focus on those individuals specifically and leading to the overall success of where we’ve come in five years.”

Greene said the program helped reduce violent crime in Fort Myers by 50% in the last five years.

“Following the data, keeping an eye on what’s going on, trying to get ahead of the next retaliation shooting, or the next crime that’s gonna happen, and they stay focused every day,” Greene said, “and, again, following the data of where we think the violence is going to happen next.”

It’s a huge job, but the woman behind the badge takes pride in it.

“Lead by example,” Greene said. “You need to be out there with your guys; you need to show compassion for your team because you can’t expect them to do things that you wouldn’t do.”

Greene also has a family she believes her job helps to protect, and she loves to vacation.

“Anywhere from cruising to Gatlinburg, Tennessee… we like to travel all over from, you know, to the mountains to the beach,” Greene said. “Traveling is my thing.”

She also has three daughters she is teaching to be independent women who can take care of themselves.

On Saturday, WINK News anchors Amanda Hall and Corey Lazar will emcee the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South’s Law and Order Ball. The winner of Officer of the Year will be announced at the event.

Those interested in attending the Law & Order Ball on June 3 can buy tickets at the event’s website.

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