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Chickens coming home to roost

October 14, 2015
By MATT SMITH , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Fort Myers Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff's Office have some misgivings about going the extra mile when it comes to law enforcement in Lee County's predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

While the drug trade sky rockets and shootings increase our police are reluctant to fully engulf themselves in a community that's just waiting for a simply mistake and then prosecute them to the fullest.

As an example, if you're at work and you have been working hard to get the job done and one day one of your fellow hard working coworkers is systematically fired for making one mistake, you simply don't have the motivation to continue working at the same level that you did previously.

It's just human nature.

I am not sanctioning allowing bad officers' actions to be pushed under the rug; I am simply trying to place into play a validated reason for the lack of law enforcement in certain areas of our great county.

A friend of mine in Lehigh Acres asked me to go to the stop crime demonstration in Dunbar, supporting getting more law enforcement when she didn't even realize such an effort was wasteful until our local and national society once more supports our police.

I firmly declined. She like many others failed to recognize that a civil society must support the people that keep us safe or we give up our own safety net.

When a society decides systematically to curb their law enforcement arm and allow the criminal elements to fill that void and take advantage of the situation, then the responsibility is flatly on the community leaders who perpetrated that condition and there should be no confusion of liability when another of our kids are slaughtered in the street by a drive by one of the degenerates.

Thus exactly what has happened in Dunbar and other areas of Lee.

It boils down to two simple elements:

- There are far more criminals out there looking to steal or murder all of us than there are police wanting to do us harm.

- I am a racially minority person and have a higher rate of survival with the police than I do with some drug dealer/gang member with a gun.

Demonstrating for more law enforcement is not solving anything. Supporting and cooperating with the police during an investigation is far more effective.

Leaders in the Dunbar area have alienated the police to the point that they are intimidated to even go in the area, and therefore the drug lords and other criminal elements will eventually take it over and infect the rest of the county.

Dunbar leadership wanted less cops, now they have it and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Matt Smith holds Seat 5 on the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District Board of Commissioners.



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