In the wake of the first murder of the year, Fort Myers Police Chief Doug Baker is unveiling new tactics to stop violent crimes. It includes an emphasis on community policing.

Fort Myers Police Officer Tony Brown has a way of talking to people. It’s one of the reasons people trust him.

“I build up a rapport with a lot of the people in the community, so i usually get out of my car, go talk to them and a lot of times I’ve even arrested them but when I arrest them, it’s not like I treat them like dirt,” says Brown.

That trust helps solve crimes.

“They’re more willing to tell you hey this person did it or this person right here did it,” says Brown.

This type of community policing is the key to a safer city according to Chief Doug Baker.

“Obviously the officers can’t be everywhere at once so it’s important that we receive that informational info from the tips from the community,” says Baker.

The chief is even seeking solutions from other police departments all over the country. One idea is an ordinance that forces convicted felons who use guns in their crimes to register with police once they’re out of jail.

“What I want to do, as a matter of fact I was just talking to Washington DC police this morning as it relates to crime stoppers, as it relates to looking at offering possible rewards for tips and information,” says Baker.

While more ideas are generated, the rest is up to officers.

“You’re really looking at quality of life issues within a neighborhood or within a community,” says Baker.

It’s not always easy.

“It’s very hurtful a lot of times, because you never want to see anybody get killed,” says Brown.

When it does happen, this officer’s mission is renewed.

“They need your help, and eventually is something happens you’re going to need their help,” says Brown.

FMPD introduces new ideas to fight violent crime – NBC 2
by Joelle Parks on Jan 9, 2013 7:11 PM