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Jacksonville sheriff announces creation of 'Commission on Progress'

Group to follow up on Strategic Initiative recommendations

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The creation of a "Commission on Progress" was announced Wednesday by Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams. 

Williams said the goal is to grow community trust in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

The new commission will be made up of six people. The chair is Rev. Canon Allison DeFoor of the Episcopal Dioceses of Florida. 

The other members include Kevin Hyde, partner of Foley & Lardner law firm; Ann-Marie Knight, community relations administrator for Mayo Clinic; Audrey Moran, senior vice president for social responsibility and community advocacy at Baptist Health; Benhamin Okafor, Ph.D, criminal justice professor at Edward Waters College; and Darnell Smith, market president for the North Florida Region of Florida Blue. 

“I would like to thank these leaders for volunteering their time and talent to help us with this important effort to build and maintain trust in the community,” Williams said in a statement.

READ: Sheriff Williams announces creation of 'Commission on Progress'

The commission will be tackling the Sheriff's Office's 102-page Strategic Initiative Final Report, which the agency has been working on since October 2015.

The Strategic Initiative is made up of four task forces: training, transparency, community engagement and resources.

Some of the recommendations that the commission will tackle include implementing more training to reduce officer injuries.

One task force recommends creating a transparency officer to handle citizen awareness of JSO.

Another goal recommended by a the community engagement task force was that every Duval County resident have at least one positive interaction a year with a JSO officer. 

And that group that focused on resources suggested a city millage increase to fund more services at JSO. 

The first meeting of the Commission on Progress will begin at noon Thursday at the law office of Foley and Larder.