Sheriff Williams holds Neighborhood Crime Prevention Walk in NW Jax

Walk begins at bank where suspect held 13 people hostage Dec. 1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sheriff Mike Williams led another Sheriff's Watch Neighborhood Crime Prevention Walk along with community members in Northwest Jacksonville Monday evening.

The irony behind this particular walk was where it started.

The walk began at the Community First Credit Union, where a suspect held 13 people hostage in a bank robbery attempt on Dec. 1.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office ended a hostage situation without violence and without anyone being hurt.

"It was by the grace of God. I was so happy to know that everyone was safe including the suspect," Zone 5 Commander and Assistant Chief Deloris Patterson said. "I was so happy to know that everyone was safe because that's what we ultimately want."

The location of the walk's beginning was ironically chosen just a few days before the bank robbery attempt.

The walk was good timing for community conversations held on residents' own driveways and porches.

"We've got a few people knocking on doors. They can't wait for me every month or six weeks to go do it," Sheriff Williams said. "In the zone, commanders have picked it up, (along with) the lieutenants and the officers. We've done over 150 neighborhood walks in the past 18 months or so. (We're) out doing it and as we get more opportunities we're (going) to keep doing it because I think the value is there"

People who live in the community, like William Turner, were able to meet Sheriff Williams and voice their concerns if they had any.

"Well, you know what, to be perfectly honest, I'm glad to see something like that going on in the community," Turner said. "So, you know, I hope they keep it up."

MAD DADS member Dan Evans was in attendance for the walk to join the mission in getting people to start speaking out when something happens and even before something happens.

"It engages the community members. It empowers them to let them know that it is okay to break the code of silence," Evans said. "But they can't just sit around and do nothing and allow this to continue to happen in our community. It's up to us to take our communities back."

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