JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After one year, a group of community leaders and government staff met weekly to study better ways to fight crime in Jacksonville. In Jacksonville Task Force on Safety and Crime Reduction's preliminary report, submitted Wednesday, the committee's principal recommendation is that a strategic plan needs to be developed and the task force needs to become a permanent board or commission.
The large task force is divided into subgroups that look at varies aspects of crime in the city. They were assigned a task of coming up with recommending solutions to the problem.
Members said that, based on their work so far, they believe they need to continue investigating. The task force envisions making recommendations on how the city can coordinate programs and funding.
The report said the task force hopes to use a mapping model which would tack violent crime and compare those crimes with various factors that have impacted those crimes -- things like unemployment, education, family makeup, income and drug use.
The task force also wants to work more on a strategy to reduce illegal guns in Jacksonville. It believes more jobs are needed in high crime areas and the report calls for more community involvement and mentoring.
The recommendations were sent to City Council President Aaron Bowman. It will be up to the full council to decide if the task force's work will continue.