JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The newly launched crime reduction program Operation Ceasefire in northwest Jacksonville is being met with mixed reviews by people who live and work in the area.
"Yes, I've been here about 30 years and it's gotten worse," said Henry Salary, owner of the Wing Place.
Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford launched Operation Ceasefire to combat a growing number of gun-related crimes plaguing the area. In just one month, officers told Channel 4 that they've knocked on 4,000 doors, made several arrests, as well as confiscating 10 illegal weapons, 381 grams of cocaine and 156 grams of marijuana.
"A lot of people want to go to the police but they can't. You can't talk to them. It's bad, there's a mistrust. Bad mistrust between the community and the police," explained resident Roderick Dorsey.
Dorsey has lived in northwest Jacksonville for the last 50 years and he calls Rutherford's program to reduce crime a step in the right direction. Dorsey also believes Operation Ceasefire will only tackle a small portion of the growing problem in his community.
"Try to set up some kind of summit in the community, some kind of team summit where they can come out in the community and actually let people express themselves, be themselves, say what's on their mind instead of sitting around like they're on pins and needles," said Dorsey.
The program's goal is for police to connect with residents in the area.
"Every morning, we have like 10-15 officers out here," said resident Faith Pullians. "It's every morning they're here for about an hour or two. So morning business is not like it used to be."
Neighbors in the area have already seen positive changes from Operation Ceasefire and they hope an increased police presence will make the difference needed to keep their streets safer.
"I think it will work because of the police coverage. I think the sheriff has done a tremendous job in the neighborhood, at least trying to do the best he can to quell the crime," said Salary.
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