Since settling into his role as ft. myers police chief 5 months ago, Derrick Diggs mission is clear.
"One of my major thrusts here is to try and build relationships with the entire Ft. Myers community."
Based on past experiences, the veteran lawman says once the cops become involved in fighting crime as it happens, something went wrong long before officers arrived on the scene.
"You'll see that where the crime is high, the community has very little involvement with the police department."
The chief says FMPD thwarted plots that would have resulted in 6 serious shootings in 2016.
He attributes that to community policing, which residents like Patty Duffy are buying into.
"I saw that happen in Buffalo, and it actually led to a decrease in the amount of crimes that we had."
Chief Diggs says any kind of community group that brings people together will help raise everyone's awareness about what's going on in their neighborhood.
"If you don't have what I call a neighborhood watch program do what you have to do to start one."
The chief says he's committed to working with youths and non-violent offenders in the community who need a second chance.
"That being said, I'm not soft on crime, I'm not a hug a thug type of guy."
Chief Diggs says he'll look at starting a program in Ft. Myers that allows juvenile offenders to clear their records by performing various community service projects.