JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mayor’s office and several area organizations invited the community out Saturday morning to voice their opinions on how to reduce crime and improve public safety in the mid-Westside of Jacksonville.
The Community Impact Day event near Edward Waters College on Grunthal Street was hosted by the Mayor’s Community Based Crime Reduction Program, New Town Success Zone, Celebration Church and the Mayo Clinic Wellness Rx program.
Free thanksgiving baskets were also given out as part of Feeding Northeast Florida’s monthly event, to those who participated in the drive-thru.
As dozens of cars came through, participants were asked to fill out a survey with questions about safety in the community.
“What we want to do is get some feedback from the community. The important thing to know about the community-based crime reduction is that the approach is innovative and it’s data-driven,” said coordinator Kendra Mervin. “And when we talk about data, we’re talking about direct feedback from the community. We want to know what the community thinks they need in order to make an impact on crime as well as quality of life issues.”
The city will take the feedback from the survey to strategize what changes might need to be made in the neighborhood to reduce crime, increase mutual trust between police and the community and improve public safety.
“As we’re presenting different strategies and initiatives, they have to be in the conversation,” said Mervin.
The mayor’s program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Justice with a focus on the Grand Park, New Town, Durkeeville, and LaVilla neighborhoods.
“It’s important to our mayor that we take the feedback and that we strategize, so we have developed a cross-sector team -- individual leaders from different organizations in Jacksonville have agreed and committed to coming to and strategizing on a regular basis to -- as we are gathering the data -- to determine exactly what needs to be presented to the community and what needs to be invested in,” said Mervin.
The program also aims to implement initiatives for economic and community development, education and housing in the neighborhoods.
For more information on the program and how you can get involved, click here.