State Attorney Angela Corey aims to curb violent crime in Jacksonville


ARLINGTON, Fla. – State Attorney Angela Corey spoke to a group in Arlington Monday night about violence and the need for community members to get involved. The headline for the club meeting was "Curbing Violent Crime in Jacksonville," and an assistant chief of police helped back that message up.

The speakers kept it pretty clear for a group of less than 100 meeting at the Arlington Lodge that policing and prosecution need other people's insights to be effective.

Alex Pantinakis said he organized the Greater Arlington Republican Club to feature Corey and an assistant chief at Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, John Lamb, to talk about the violent crime in his area.

"We want to talk to the state attorney and talk specifically about Arlington area when it comes to violent crime," Pantinakis said.

Many people patiently listened and asked questions.

"I'm a member of Arlington Club, happen to live in Arlington. So I want to make sure not just my neighborhood, but the whole city is safe," said Lawrence Jefferson.

"Great opportunity for them to learn, ask questions, inquire with us and provide intelligence as far as suspicious activity they may see. And help us fight crime, because it's a partnership between us, (the) state attorney, and the community," Lamb said.

"We're finding that more people are willing to be witnesses in cases, which is critically important to the success of the prosecution. Because, of course, police arrest on probable cause and we must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt; that takes great cooperation," Corey said.

The state attorney also addressed a frustrating, if not frightening, topic in Jacksonville in the past several months. And she sounded hopeful that the new sheriff would help her office.

"People go, 'We don't have gangs in Jax.' Well, we don't have a lot of the large, traditional gangs, but we are focused on the smaller, loose-knit gangs. And attacking, vigorously, their method of committing crimes, and going after them the way we can, for instance, racketeering charges and things like that," Corey said.

"We've had some setbacks with violent crime in this community, but overall it's been pretty good as far as crime being lowered. So Angela has done a real good job, as far as getting people, convicting them, keeping them in jail. I mean, that's what she's famous for," Jefferson said.

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