On Tuesday, December 11, 2012 the Fort Myers Police Department unveiled a social media initiative to help prevent crime. In a parody to a new rendition of the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” FMPD’s finest sing and act out a scenario that is all too common in the City – citizens failing to protect themselves from criminals.
Burglaries and thefts make up about 72% of the crime in the City. The message in the public service announcement is to lock your doors, take the keys, don’t leave valuables in plain sight and always report suspicious activity. The video features a woman who returns home from a day of shopping. She runs inside leaving her bags behind only to return to her car moments later and find everything gone.
“People make it easy for criminals. They leave purses, cell phones and money in their cars or they leave their doors unlocked. Often people don’t take note of suspicious activity and report it.” Chief Doug Baker recalled a burglary case in which detectives learned during a neighborhood canvas the suspect was seen riding down the street on a bicycle carrying stolen goods including a television. “No one reported it. The suspect actually dropped some of the items and a citizen helped him gather them up and send him on his way.” The video also depicts an unsuspecting neighbor witnessing the crime and waving to the suspects. “Social media is so popular and we hope our video is memorable and that you can’t get the catchy tune out of your head and you think to protect your property.
The video was written, produced and performed by FMPD employees both sworn and civilian staff. The group is currently planning several more creative projects with the goal of preventing crime. Special thanks to those who provided services to make the project possible: Eyeland Telemedia, Halloween Megastore, JPH Recording Studio and Sax Fifth Avenue Cosmetics. Creative Team Credits: Lt. Jeff Bernice, Officer Yvetta Dominique, Denise Egolf, Shelly Flynn, Sergeant Mike Forbes, Sergeant Aaron Olson, Officer Jesus Ramos, Shannon Northorp, Officer Ashley Schindler, Tatum Walker and CSA Pat Walsh.