JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is still working with limited information on many of the unsolved homicides that have happened in the past month, and one local organization is working with police and the community to bring those responsible to justice.
The motive behind the effort today is this Aiden McClendon, a child who was killed in a drive-by shooting. Beyond the sadness is outrage that innocent people and children are being killed in the midst of gang and drug violence.
Members of MAD DADS went around neighborhoods Saturday to restore trust between the community and police.
"Anyone who murders a child needs to be removed from the streets," Donald Foy, the president of MAD DADS, said. "We are here to ignite this community."
And it's not just the little boy's death that has the community crying out help; it's the more than a dozen murders that have happened in Jacksonville this year already.
"In January, we've had so many unsolved ones (killings) and that's because the community is not stepping forward with what we know," Foy said.
Donald Foy says MAD DADS is hitting the streets to talk to people about these crimes and encourage them to speak up. The effort to strengthen that relationship is something the sheriff's office and the city leaders are working on, because no one can fathom another child dying to violence.
"At some point in time you gotta draw the line," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said. "Hopefully this will be it, and we as a community need to realize we have to work together and push through this once and for all."
Community leaders are doing whatever it takes to bring these murderers to justice, but they are reminding citizens they need their help too.
Sheriff Williams said in the next few weeks the sheriff's office will reveal more about what plans are going to be put in place to help prevent gang and drug violence. He says it will take time, but everybody needs to work together.