Patricia Small is leading a crusade against crime in Orlando after the fatal killing of her son, 29, in a robbery outside a restaurant last year. The case is unsolved. The Orlando Sentinel says the 52-year-old grandmother and insurance-claims adjuster is learning karate and helping start a chapter of the Guardian Angels. Last month, she showed up at an apperance by Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp to promote Gov. Charlie Crist’s anti-crime initiatives with a poster of her dead son, stealing media attention. She got a meeting with Kottkamp.
Orlando has been in the throes of increasing violent crime. Last year, the city saw a record 49 slayings. Perhaps no area has been hit harder than an area that includes MetroWest, an 1,800-acre planned community of 12,000 residents. Managers of the area are working to improve lighting and security. Small said it’s critical for people to speak up to get politicians moving. She’s planning a trip to Tallahassee next month and hopes to speak to Crist.