NewsLocal News


Fort Myers Police to discuss crime rate reductions Thursday

Posted at 8:32 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 08:32:43-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Fort Myers Police Department says they will show how new procedures have lowered crime.

The data analysis hasn't been released yet, but the department says crime has gone down in the three years since Chief Derrick Diggs took over.

The department will be holding a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the data. They will share the stage with the University of Cincinnati Institute of Crime Science.

Chief Diggs set up a partnership with the institute to help the city with crime deterrence.

We know Chief Diggs has met with that group from the University of Cincinnati several times since he came to Fort Myers, and the pairing makes sense.

The institute is well-acquainted with how the City of Cincinnati does "community problem-oriented policing." That's where officers focus on building relationships with the community to reduce backlash.

And using analytics to try and stop crime before it happens is actually something Chief Diggs had been working on since before he started in Fort Myers.

Right after he took over as chief in Fort Myers, Fox 4 sat down with him to talk about the success he had with data driven crime prevention in his last job. "That's how we determined where to deploy our officers, where would they go, how would they perform their duties."

RELATED: Fort Myers Police unveil new crime center | Fort Myers City Council votes in favor of Chief Derrick Diggs contract renewal | Report shows crime decreasing in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida

We went to the Orange County Sheriff's Office to get a look at how it works. They use an algorithm with 10 years of crime data on where and when crimes happen, placing an emphasis on the most recent ones to calculate a prediction.

They build a map for every shift, using models that are similar to what's used to predict earthquake aftershocks.

Chief Diggs also said as great as technology is, what's more important is that people trust their police officers as well.