Fort Myers Police Department Awarded 2018 Second Chance Act Grant to Improve Public Safety

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Fort Myers Police Department was recently awarded a $1,000,000 federal grant. The monies are to provide services that prevent recidivism, reduce crime, and protect public safety.

The award is a part of the 2018 Second Chance Act grant program. This program is funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

This grant is a part of Chief Derrick Diggs community engagement initiative. The primary goal is to build bridges in the community and increase engagement with people who face the complicated challenges of today’s world. “Community partnership is vital to our efforts to reduce and solve crimes,” said Chief Diggs. “The FMPD will continue to engage community stakeholders and our law enforcement partners in efforts to fight crime and to bring justice to victims and their family members,” he concluded.

As a 2018 Second Chance Act grantee the Fort Myers Police Department will reduce recidivism through systems improvement to provide the resources, training and technical assistance (TTA) necessary to identify assets and gaps in local reentry systems. The grant will also develop capacity and partnerships with other justice agencies to provide services that will improve public safety in their jurisdictions.

The Fort Myers Police Department will work closely with the National Reentry Resource Center the nation’s primary source of information and guidance on reentry throughout the planning and implementation of the grant program.

Reentry and reintegration is a crucial step for an offender to successfully become a productive member of society. Restorative principles further provide a meaningful opportunity for the offender to repair the harm they have caused their victim(s) and the community.

The philosophical framework includes three major conceptual components: community safety, accountability, and competency development. The offender should incur an obligation and claim responsibility for his/her crime or wrongdoing to the victim, justice system, and community and build competencies for self-improvement.

Competencies include education, vocational-technical skills, and behavioral health, to be a productive member of society. The goal is to protect the community through processes in which victims, community and offenders are all active participants. This model includes core values and builds on current innovative practices.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at year end 2016, there were over 2.1 million people incarcerated in state or federal prisons or held in local jails. Approximately 95 percent of people who are imprisoned will be released and return to communities across the nation.

Many of these individuals have needs that, if unaddressed, may increase their likelihood of re-offending, thereby impacting the safety of communities nationwide.

The mission of the Fort Myers Police Department is to provide the most effective and efficient law enforcement services in Florida. Our purpose is to provide exceptional public safety and service through quality partnerships. Our values are Honor, Ethics, Accountability, Respect and Teamwork (H.E.A.R.T).

The Fort Myers Police Department strategy will consist of an array of approaches that leaders use to produce a successful performance. The policy, in effect, is the game plan for strengthening the Police Department, meeting community needs, and achieving performance targets.

Second Chance Act grants support state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning to their communities from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities. Since 2009, more than 840 awards have been made to grantees across 49 states, which have served an estimated 164,000 people to date.

To learn more about the Second Chance Act and read other information and resources related to reentry, visit NationalReentryResourceCenter.org.

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