FORT MYERS, Fla., - The Fort Myers Police Department is cracking down on guns, and those carrying them illegally as part of a new gang suppression unit initiative to curb violent crime in Fort Myers.
"The number one goal for me is to get the violence to stop, to put the guns down," said Police Chief Derrick Diggs, of the Fort Myers Police Department.
At a press conference Wednesday, Diggs announced they've recovered 39 firearms between September and October, five of them assault weapons.
Diggs says the initiative may have prevented as many as five mass shooting incidents since it began.
In September, officers seized a loaded pistol and an assault rifle during a late night patrol at Vegas Lounge on Colonial Blvd.
"Our officers will continue to conduct extra patrols in neighborhoods throughout the city that have shown a propensity for violence occurring in this city," said Diggs.
It's a move that has welcomed the praise of city leaders.
"We full support Chief Diggs and the Fort Myers Police Department to bring everything of crime under control," said Fort Myers City Councilman Johnny Streets.
Chief Diggs also cited the use of cameras in violence-plagued communities as one thing he would like to expand.
"If you utilize cameras correctly, where they're located, it's been proven that cameras can reduce crime between 26 and 33 percent," said Diggs.
Diggs steered clear of talking about the shootings at Zombiecon and Club Blu, calling both still active investigations. He did, however, turn to the importance of bridging the gap between the community and police as a necessary step in reducing violent crimes.
"As the police chief, I'm asking citizens who have information or knowledge about violent crime and violent criminal activity that has occurred or may be about to occur to call us at the Fort Myers Police Department," said Diggs.
The Department says they plan on holding another community engagement forum November 28-30th where they will meet with leaders and the public to discuss ways to better work together.