JSO rolls out new anti-crime plan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is rolling out a detailed plan on new ways to make the city safer following the violent start to 2016.

A memorial is up for victims of crime at the Families of Slain Children Center in Northwest Jacksonville.

JSO is hoping this new approach to fighting crime will prevent some new names from being added to the memorial.

Sheriff Mike Williams was at city hall Monday presenting a new initiative he said isn’t just another program. Williams called this an overall change in operations for the sheriff’s office to tackle crime from as many angles as possible.

“It's about an ongoing effort to work not only through the enforcement piece of the equation, but the conversation with the community too,” Williams said. “All of those things are important to that long-term solution.”

Sheriff Williams said this plan has been evolving since July, but the recent spike in violence since the beginning of the year, has led to even more planning.

“This is part of the natural progression of that research and where it led us,” Williams said. “But again, some key elements of this were driven by the spike in violence we had this month.”

The sheriff said there are several moving parts to this plan. Some of which will include increased police presence in neighborhoods across the city.

Developing a consolidated violent crimes task force to handle cases from beginning to end and expanding their gang investigation unit into a 7-day-a-week effort.

That restructure will go into effect in about a month.

Mayor Lenny Curry plans to pay for the initiative by moving a million dollars into JSO’s overtime budget. And the sheriff said other funds will also be utilized.

“Money that we've seized from drug dealers and in cases over the years, we'll use that money to buy into this partnership, as well,” Williams said.

The partnership the sheriff mentioned will be with John Jay College in New York to compile data from other cities around the country facing the same issues as Jacksonville.

Williams said they are modeling much of this plan after a very successful anti-crime initiative used by the city of Boston back in the mid-90s.