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Community leaders respond to nearly a dozen...

Posted at 7:17 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 19:20:42-04
Erick Walker and his family live in a Fort Myers community surrounded by violence. 
 
 "I just have a concern for stray bullets flying," Walker said. 
 
He tells me cries from the community are getting louder with crime consuming the streets where they live. 
 
"It's getting to a place to where Fort Myers needs Fort Myers."
 
Walker says it's no longer shocking to know there have been nearly a dozen shootings during the month of May.
 
"I just believe there's a lot of past hurt and people that have had revenge are retaliating."
 
Walker and his wife have started a non-profit called Transformers that works with young adults in the community. 
 
He tells FOX 4 it is a faith based organization that works with the youth in communities affected by violent crime. 
 
"We need to put God back at the center of our city," Walker said. "We need to pray everyday not just one day a week. We need to pray for our community."
 
Ted Sottong also has a non-profit called Pick Up the Ball. He partners with law enforcement agencies to build community relationships as he works with young adults in neighborhoods affected by heavy crime. He says police officers and even the chief of police have been spotted making efforts on their days off by visiting affected communities and getting to know the people who live there. 
 
"The people who are committing these crimes is a fairly small group of people," Sottong said.
 
He also tells FOX 4 that members of the community are too afraid to help police identify the group putting the city through a cycle of rampant violence.
 
"In most cases, it's a matter of them wanting to survive and they know that if they say something to somebody that can be easily found out; even if it's done in an anonymous way," Sottong said. "There's ways to deduce who told."
 
Sottong and Walker tell Four In Your Corner that with the type of population growth Fort Myers is experiencing, they believe there should be a bigger task force.  
 
"We've had a lot of people, we've had a lot of crime, and they have less money and fewer people so we really need to get them more officers," Sottong said.
 
Four In Your Corner reached out to Fort Myers Police to speak with the chief about the efforts in place to curb the violence but he was not available for an interview today.