EDITOR’S NOTE: The position of Lee County Sheriff is up for election in November 2016. Sheriff Mike Scott, along with challengers Stephanie Eller and James Didio have written messages to the residents of Gateway, with the goal of helping you to get to know them a bit better. Today’s message is from Sheriff Scott.
I was born and raised here in Lee County and upon graduating from North Fort Myers High School, I earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of South Florida. I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and have successfully completed numerous, advanced specialty courses in the field of law enforcement.
I June of 2010, I graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA along with law enforcement professionals from 49 states and 25 other countries. I finished at the top of my class and gave the commencement speech alongside the FBI Director. You can watch that speech and see photos on my website www.wewantmike.com.
I joined the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in 1988 and was elected Sheriff in 2004. Re-elected in ’08 and ’12 by wide margins, my current campaign for re-election is enjoying enormous support, and I hope I can count on you in August.
Shortly after my first election, the Gateway community was rocked by the double murder of a young couple and the investigation that followed was complicated. My team demonstrated our resolve by closing that case with the arrest and life sentence of the killer. Those of you reading this who have lived in Gateway for a while likely recall that case.
More recently, we again demonstrated our focus with the high-profile murder case of Dr. Theresa Sievers in Bonita Springs. Like Gateway, this was one of the most complicated cases any of us have ever seen and yet again, closure came with the arrest of Mark Sievers following months of investigation that took us halfway across the country.
Examples of our successes abound, and I have never been more proud of the men and women I serve with. Despite our best efforts and generally low crime statistics across the county, we have a pocket of violent crime in the City of Fort Myers that spilled into Lehigh Acres when the Section 8 housing from the Michigan Court Projects was relocated to Lehigh. Still, the inordinate amount of violent crime I contained in the City and in virtually every instance, the killer and the victim have lengthy arrest records. Recent murder victim Nathaniel Pitts was 18 years old and had been arrested 70 times. It is not uncommon at all for our suspects to have 10, 20, 30, 40 or more prior arrests and so law enforcement is doing its job.
Again, to learn more about me, you can visit my campaign website or our office website at www.sheriffleefl.org. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, and I will be prompt and personal with a reply. I remain proud to serve and focused on the mission. One crime is too many and to that end, we will stay the course with a relentless pressure on the bad guys.