Charlotte High Student Arrested for Posting Threat

Posted: January 26, 2023

Earlier today, the Punta Gorda Police Department was notified by the North Port Police Department of a threat made against Charlotte High School on Snapchat. The post stated that the poster planned to “shoot up” the school.

The individual who made the post was quickly identified as fourteen year old Collin Burger, a freshman student at Charlotte High. During an interview Burger admitted to sending the post, but stated it was meant as a “joke.” Burger did not have a weapon and there was no evidence that Burger had any plan to carry out the threat today.

Burger was arrested and charged with Making a Written Threat of a Mass Shooting, a second degree felony.

The Punta Gorda Police Department takes threats to our students and staff very seriously. Anyone who threatens violence against our schools, joking or not, faces serious legal consequences. We would like to thank the individual who reported this threat and to the North Port Police Department for their swift action.

Police Respond to Individual with Gunshot Wound

Posted: January 4, 2023

At approximately 9:07 a.m. this morning, the Punta Gorda Police Department responded to a residence on East Helen Avenue in Punta Gorda in reference to an individual who sustained a gunshot wound to the thigh.

The individual was transported to the hospital by Charlotte County EMS for their injury.

At this time, it is believed that this is an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the public. Local schools were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

Detectives continue to investigate. If you have any information on this incident, please contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-780-8477. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Punta Gorda Police Vehicles Get New Look

Posted: December 22, 2022

Punta Gorda residents may have already noticed that some of the police department’s patrol vehicles have a new look. It has been about a decade since the Punta Gorda Police Department has updated the graphics and look of their vehicles. The new vehicles are black with a graphics package designed by the department’s very own Corporal Joshua Girard. As new vehicles are purchased over the next several years residents should expect to see more vehicles with the new scheme.

A Message from Punta Gorda Public Safety

Posted: October 3, 2022

The Punta Gorda Police & Fire Departments are working hard to address the public safety needs of our city residents. We have been working around the clock to respond to calls for service, check on the welfare of our citizens, respond to medical calls, and deter criminal activity that will inevitability occur as a result of a natural disaster.

Both the police and fire departments have all personnel working without days off to ensure we can address the needs of our community in this very difficult time. We would like to remind you to be good neighbors by checking on each other. Be patient. Resources are limited and there will be long lines.

As power is restored, many businesses will be able to re-open including gas stations, so it will get better. If you do not need to be on the streets, please remain home to help workers restore our infrastructure. There is still a curfew in place, which will be strictly enforced and violators will be subject to arrest.

Many of our first responders have not been home or seen their families. They are working hard to keep you safe and we will continue to work hard throughout this trying time.

Be cognizant of scams and unethical people offering to repair your homes. You should use reputable licensed contractors. Contact our non-emergency number at 941-639-4111 if you have any questions about scams. Please do not run generator inside your home or any enclosed area.

We are all in this together and we are Punta Gorda strong!

Homestead Police Department Arrives to Assist in Punta Gorda

Posted: September 30, 2022

A team from the Homestead Police Department arrived at the Public Safety Complex this morning to provide support to the Punta Gorda Police Department and community in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Residents may see Homestead police officers when they call the police department for service or are out in the community while we continue recovery efforts. The officers are functioning as Punta Gorda police officers during the State of Emergency.

“We are extremely grateful to Chief Rolle, the Homestead Police Department, and the Florida Police Chief’s Association for their immediate and generous response,” said Chief Davis. Before the storm had even passed I received a call from Homestead letting me know that help would be coming. There support will help the department and community immensely as we continue our post-storm response.”

Emergency Services to be Suspended During Storm

Posted: September 27, 2022

When we begin seeing sustained winds in excess of 45 miles per hour or higher in our area, all emergency services in the City of Punta Gorda will be suspended. Emergency and non-emergency phone lines will still be open for calls, but police and fire response will not be possible until the storm has passed. Once it is safe to resume emergency response calls will be answered in order of priority. There may be serious delays in response even after the storm has passed depending on damage, road blockage, and flood waters.

Investigation Determines No Specific Threat to Charlotte High School

Posted: August 19, 2022

Last night the Punta Gorda Police Department received several calls from parents regarding a Facebook post that stated that a student had threatened to “shoot up” Charlotte High School today. This potential threat was immediately investigated by the Punta Gorda Police Department with the assistance of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. After a thorough investigation it was determined that the threat was unfounded and that no specific threat had been made against Charlotte High School or any specific individual.

“We take any threat against our schools incredibly seriously. We will always investigate potential threats thoroughly and will take any action necessary to protect our students and school staff. We want to again remind students, school personnel, and parents to always report potential threats or suspicious activity to law enforcement,” said Chief Pam Davis.

Suspicious activity or threats can be reported directly to law enforcement or through the FortifyFL tip line.

Punta Gorda Police Department Receives Eighth Reaccreditation and Fourth Excelsior Award

In April of 2022 the Punta Gorda Police Department hosted a team of assessors from the Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). Law enforcement accreditation is the certification by an independent reviewing authority that the police department is in compliance with approximately 235 prescribed standards. These standards help to ensure that agencies are using best practices in their policies and procedures. Every three years accredited agencies undergo an assessment where all aspects of the police department are examined to ensure compliance.

On June 16, 2022, the Punta Gorda Police Department went in front of the CFA in Orlando, Florida, who voted unanimously to reaccredit the police department. As this was our eighth reaccreditation without conditions the department also received our fourth Excelsior Award. The police department was first accredited in 1998 and has remained accredited since that time. We believe that accreditation is important for the department and our community and are proud to be an Excelsior Agency.

Officer Richards and K9 Sasha represent the K9 Team during the static display.
Members of the Volunteer Bike Patrol discussed their equipment and services they provide the community.
Officer Gorman representing the Uniformed Patrol Section to the assessors.

Fourth of July Traffic

Posted: June 28, 2022

This year’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration will be held at Laishley Park on Sunday, July 3rd. There will be several traffic changes implemented Sunday night in an effort to minimize traffic congestion after the fireworks display as follows:

  • Traffic leaving from the areas east of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), including Laishley Park, will be directed south to East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) and then east to I-75. Traffic can then go north or south on the interstate. Traffic leaving from this area will not be able to access Tamiami Trail (US-41).
  • Traffic leaving from the areas west of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), except as specified below, will be directed to Cross Street (US-41 South). Traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75. Traffic man then go north or south on the interstate.
  • Traffic leaving from City Market Place will be directed north on to Tamiami Trail (US-41 North) toward Port Charlotte.
  • Traffic leaving the Herald Court Center parking garage will not be permitted to turn right toward Tamaimi Trail (US-41 North). Traffic will need to turn left towards Taylor Street and will be directed one of two ways depending on traffic congestion. Traffic may be directed to West Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75 where traffic may go north or south on the interstate. Traffic may also be directed to West Marion Avenue (US-17 East) toward Cross Street (US-41 South) where traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75.

Please keep in mind that thousands of people come into Punta Gorda to see the fireworks display and most people are trying to leave at the same time. These changes are meant to minimize congestion, but there is no way to eliminate it. We do expect substantial delays that can last one to two hours after the fireworks display ends, so please plan accordingly!

In addition to the traffic changes it is also important to note that the Laishley boat ramp will be closed beginning 30 minutes prior to the fireworks display. However, the Ponce Park boat ramp will remain open until midnight to provide an alternative to residents and visitors.

We hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and fun Independence Day!

Welfare Check on Individual Sleeping in Vehicle Leads to Drug Trafficking Arrest

Posted: May 13, 2022

On May 13, 2022, just before 4:30 a.m., officers conducted a welfare check on an individual that was found sleeping in their vehicle in the parking lot of Downtown Gatorz, located at 502 King Street. The individual, later identified as Jeremy Allen Jones of Port Charlotte, acted suspiciously and pulled out a large amount of cash tied in rubber bands from the center console when asked if he had identification.

Jones consented to a search of his vehicle. Officers located a gym bag in the backseat area of the vehicle behind the center console. When the bag was opened, an unknown powdery substance blew into an officer’s face. The officer was transported to the hospital for evaluation. Upon further inspection the bag was found to contain more than 497 grams of methamphetamine and 133 grams of crack cocaine packaged in individual bags for resale. In addition, the bag contained more than 65 grams of marijuana, four hydrocodone pills, an unknown brown powdery substance, an unknown multicolored substance, digital scales, cellphones, and small plastic bags. During a search of the rest of the vehicle officers located more than $7,600 in cash in small bills packaged and separated by denomination in rubber bands.

The officer was not injured during the incident and was released from the hospital after observation. Jones was placed under arrest, transported to the Charlotte County Jail, and charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The unknown substances will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab for analysis.