JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A grim milestone: Jacksonville has surpassed 100 murders for yet another year.
News4Jax records show 103 murders thus far in 2021, with a month left in the year.
It’s actually fewer murders on record than this time over the past few years, but for many, it’s still alarming.
Records compiled by the News4JAX I-TEAM show the city reached that grim 100 mark on Nov. 20.
In 2020, the city reached the 100 murder mark much sooner — on Sept. 2.
In 2019, police recorded the 100th murder on Oct. 17.
“When crime happens in our city, it affects our businesses, it affects commerce, it affects people wanting to move here,” said News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who was a Jacksonville sheriff’s officer for more than 20 years. “When we elect our city officials, we expect results from them.”
Jefferson said it’s not just a problem police must tackle everyone needs to step up: elected officials, community leaders and parents.
News4JAX also pulled Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records showing 400 people have been shot so far in 2021. That includes murders, justifiable homicides and people who were injured by gunshots.
At the end of 2020, the tally was 554 people shot.
Jacksonville police have arrested dozens of people linked to murders. So far in 2021, records on JSO’s website show detectives have made arrests in 44 cases. In 2020, they made arrests in 53 murder cases.
The city and sheriff’s office have invested in gunshot detection technology, a unified crime intelligence center and the Cure Violence program.
Jefferson said this can make a difference.
“I do embrace technology,” he said. “I think technology is good and it is helpful. It has been helpful in getting police out to a crime scene much quicker and maybe even apprehending a suspect much quicker. But absolutely nothing beats boots on the ground.”
News4JAX reached out to the sheriff’s office and mayor’s office for comment on the numbers.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry sent News4JAX the following statement:
“My heart breaks every time a member of our community is lost to a senseless act of violence. I am encouraged by recent numbers, but acknowledge that the loss of even one life in our city is one too many. That’s why public safety continues to be my top priority. That’s why my budgets invest in providing the Sheriff with the tools and resources he needs to protect and serve. It’s why they invest in better tools, technologies, and strategies to help the State Attorney keep dangerous criminals off our streets. And it’s why we continue to fund prevention and intervention programs like Cure Violence that help prevent these acts of violence from occurring in the first place. My administration will continue to work tirelessly with all our community partners.”