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City council member wants police checkpoints to help eliminate gun violence in downtown Fort Myers

Fort Myers City Hall
Posted at 4:40 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 18:40:37-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Wednesday, Fort Myers Council member Johnny Streets addressed some of the speculations around potential public safety changes to the downtown Fort Myers area.

“The gentlemen that used the word “curfew” Monday night, if you can remember, let's get it straight he said only as a last resort, we are a long way from that,” said Streets.

Since the meeting, Fox 4 started asking council members like Streets to clarify these ideas after an early Sunday morning shooting in downtown Fort Myers had city leaders calling for public safety changes.

Councilmen Streets said, unlike the idea of a curfew, his meeting on Wednesday with police focused on an ordinance he says was inspired by a law used in downtown Orlando.

Streets said options like this, could support law enforcement efforts for a safer city.

“If that was the case, maybe we would have to have four checkpoints that people may have to go through but of course, lighting is number one,” said Streets.

Streets add the ordinance would also limit only certain parking lots to be open after 10 PM.

The shooting, early Sunday morning happened in the parking lot off Second Street in downtown Fort Myers just before 2 AM.

“Unfortunately we had some people who created an issue we need to deal with,” said Streets.

That issue is what led Streets to meet with Fort Myers Police and talk about potential policy changes that he says would cut down on gun violence.

It's a conversation Major Jason Fields with Fort Myers Police, told Fox 4 they were open to having with city leaders.

“We are more than willing to bring whatever we can to the table to make a safe environment for everybody,” said Fields.

On Wednesday, Streets also talked about adding more lighting to the downtown area and hiring parking lot attendants to help watch over the late-night crowd.

“We want to eliminate the idea of people thinking they can come down here with a gun and just do what they want to do,” said Streets.

A spokesperson with the Fort Myers Police Department sent Fox 4 this statement regarding the meeting with councilmen Streets.

We express our appreciation for Councilman Streets' suggestions during the meeting earlier today. We feel the meeting was productive.

FMPD takes pride in keeping our city safe for everyone and will continue our commitment to doing so.
Kristin Capuzzi, PIO Fort Myers Police Department

Streets echoing a similar message.

“This council is on board with law enforcement to make sure that we are all on the same page,” said Streets.

Part of being on that same page is why council member Liston Bochette, who represents the downtown district, is also having a meeting with city leaders and FMPD on Thursday.

This is a developing story. Check back for the latest updates.