City leaders roll out anti-violence initiatives
Jacksonville mayor, sheriff, council president announce plans, funding
The recent wave of gun violence in Jacksonville -- from a triple shooting with a 19-year-old killed at a high school football game to the death of a 7-year-old girl caught in gunfire of a robbery and the mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing -- has the city and its leaders asking what can be done to make Jacksonville safer.
Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, City Council President Aaron Bowman and others tried to answer that question Friday, providing details about of programs to be implemented and emergency funding to pay for them.
To stop the violence, Curry, Williams and others want to put more than $350,000 into programs to get local churches and other grassroots agencies that see kids on a daily basis to bring about change.
Deadly violence is nothing new for Jacksonville, and the city has tried many things in the past to battle it. But the gunshots continue to ring out and people are still dying.
News4Jax asked the sheriff what he had to say to people who are fed up with the violence and don't see anything happening.
"On purpose, we are not rolling out a new program with a new initiative and a new name. We know what works. We know when to be there," Williams said. "(We've) got to have a more intense focus, and we’re going to do that. You can’t discount the prevention activities -- the activities that are going to happen here. We need those dollars to prevent that pipeline from continuing to flow."
Another initiative is to offer more reward money to turn in people with illegal firearms. The sheriff wants to partner with businesses to make that happen.
Curry and Coleman said they are working on details on how to get the money flowing to the churches and grassroots organizations -- $50,000 now and $300,000 in October -- and how to hold them accountable.
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