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DCF official: Man threatens to bring gun to local office

By Staff | Jul 31, 2009

A man threatened to bring a gun to a local Department of Children and Families office Thursday morning because he was upset about his food stamps application, according to DCF officials.
The client was in the Fort Myers DCF building when he made the threat, according to agency spokesperson Erin Gillespie.
“He said it directly to a staff member, over the phone,” she said.
The man hung up the phone and left shortly after. Per policy, the agency contacted the Fort Myers Police Department, who is investigating the case.
“We contact law enforcement if we feel we have a threat to our staff,” she said.
Though DCF has encountered belligerent clients in the past, Gillespie said she is unaware of previous threats of this nature.
Hundreds of people apply for food stamps at the local DCF office daily.
However, the Fort Myers office’s staff performance exceeds the expectations of federal and state standards, Gillespie said.
Federal standards require responses to food stamp applications within 30 days, while in Lee County the average is 13 days.
“Our workers are busy but we understand how important it is for people to get help, so there’s no problem with our process here,” she said.
Gillespie said the threat and subsequent investigation by law enforcement will not have a bearing on whether the man is issued food stamps.