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Fort Myers council member wants county's help to reduce youth gun violence

Mariner High School possible school threat
Posted at 6:30 PM, Apr 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-17 18:52:39-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — During Monday's Fort Myers City council meeting, gun violence involving our youth was the focus for council member Johnny Streets.

Streets said his inspiration for change comes partly from efforts he sees in Tallahassee.

“At some point, it's coming to a city near you if not your city,” said Streets.

On Monday, Streets spoke to Fox 4 about previous gun violence threats that have caused multiple Lee County schools to lock down during the past year.

Streets said those instances coupled with national deadly shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas, had Streets calling for action.

“We just can't sit idly by and say well this is the new normal,” said Streets.

The retired police officer and councilman said that's why he wanted to model a new Lee County program after Tallahassee's, Council on the Status of Men and Boys.

Streets said they work with multiple partners to identify youth prone to gun violence.

So far, the organization is working with 50 boys and their families to provide better mental health services.

Streets said that is what he wants to see in Lee County.

“ If I can get the approval of my colleagues to say I can move forward to work with the sheriff, to work with the chief of police, to work with the school district,” said Streets.

In the classroom, the Lee County School District said reports of major disruptions of violence, which the district defines as any serious threat to the health, safety, or welfare of others, were down 40% district-wide over the past year.

Courtesy: Lee County School District

Streets said he can see this program helping create a better community for everyone in Lee County, and he said it starts with our youth.

“We can get more counselors. Perhaps with this grant, we can get more school social workers, we can get more police in the school to look at certain things,” said Streets.

Streets said the organization in Tallahassee is funded by federal, county, and city resources.