SANFORD, Fla. -

Local 6 has obtained email exchanges between George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and former Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee, who stepped down after Martin's death investigation.

According to the emails, which took place in 2011 months before the shooting death of Martin, Lee tells Zimmerman, "I appreciate you taking the time to get involved in your community and help in organizing the Neighborhood Watch program."

Local 6 reported the email exchange last month, but Lee's response to Zimmerman's email wasn't released.

Lee stepped down following intense scrutiny a month after Martin's death. Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder and is currently in Seminole County jail awaiting a second bond hearing. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.