Violent crime continues to plague Jacksonville despite COVID-19 pandemic

Shootings in March 2020 nearly double what they were in 2019


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While for most of us normal life normal life has come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office can’t say the same when it comes to violent crime.

Police officers are experiencing another bloody and deadly month due to crime. On Thursday, police are looking for the gunman who shot and wounded a 17-year-old girl on Cleveland Road, who they said was not the intended target.

News4Jax compared crime figures from March to the same time frame a year ago. In March 2019, 23 people were shot and six people were killed.

In March 2020, shootings have almost doubled. So far, 40 people have been shot and 11 people have been killed.

“Our calls for service are up what we’d normally see this time of year,” said Sheriff Mike Williams.

Williams was asked if he thinks there’s any relation between the virus and the amount of crime.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily related,” Williams said. “It’s hard to tell what drives some of that. Nothing we’ve seen is directly related -- you can’t make that bridge.”

As for his officers, the sheriff said they are taking precautions. He said some have gone into self quarantine.

“In terms of the agency, you know, we haven’t been affected a lot. So, you’ve got really less than 2% of our workforce -- patrolling, corrections, all of it that has been impacted with some kind of quarantine,” Williams said.

The sheriff pointed out that there have been no cases in the jail, something that he said is being monitored closely.

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