JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For months, News4Jax has been discussing about violent crime in the city. On Saturday, the owner of a Jacksonville thrift shop decided to organize a rally to spread the message of peace.
Donna Troup said she's sick and tired of people not speaking up to authorities when something bad happens, encouraging people who have information about a crime to tell police and put a stop to the growing problem.
Troup said she would really like to see more programs for teenagers and young kids to get them off the streets.
She said not many people attended, but the ones who did are the ones who count and that it's a step in the right direction. Troup would like to see a heavier police presence in neighborhoods throughout the year getting to know the neighborhoods and the people who live in them.
"The police needs to be out walking the areas when they're on-duty, if they can," Troup said. "They have a 45 percent time frame they can be out talking to people in the neighborhoods they patrol. I haven't seen that. I've seen one maybe two times. But lately, no, I haven't seen it. Until the election comes up and you see people out talking. But other than that, no. They wasn't doing that."
Sheriff candidate Ken Jefferson has stayed in four different neighborhoods over the last few weeks. He started in the Grand Park area, then Eureka Gardens and Arlington. Saturday night he's in Atlantic Beach, where he said property crimes are bad.
Jefferson said while they don't hold equivalent to the violent crime we see in other neighborhoods, addressing issues important to certain neighborhoods is how he wants to lead if elected as sheriff.
"I want people to know their sheriff. I want people to know they have a voice the sheriff can hear, they can listen to. It's all about partnerships and working together," Jefferson said. "I can't wait for May 19 to get started. The relationship building needs to get started now. I don't need to hit the ground running to build relationships. Let's build it now. Everywhere we've gone, we've been able to close the gap farther."
Troup said sheriff candidate Mike Williams also made an appearance at the rally and shared his ideas to curb crime if he wereelected sheriff. News4Jax reached out to his campaign for an interview, but have not heard back.