Violent crime trends down sharply in Jacksonville in 2021

Despite positive direction, leaders say more work to be done in city

According to News4JAX data, homicides dropped by 28% from 2020 to 2021, while the number of people shot was down 22%.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite all the difficult news in 2021, there was a positive trend in Jacksonville -- the city’s homicide numbers went significantly down for the first time in years.

According to News4JAX data, homicides dropped by 28% from 2020 to 2021, while the number of people shot was down 22%.

In 2021, Jacksonville reported 128 homicides. Of those, 106 are considered murders. Last year, the city reported a 23-year peak of 176 homicides with 141 of those considered murders.

“Hopefully, it’s a trend and not just happenstance,” News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said.

He said trust in law enforcement and equitable policing are key in checking crime.

“I think there’s been an effort by the JSO to improve community relations,” Jefferson said.

(Editor’s Note: Our records differ somewhat from those the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office releases because for investigative reasons, JSO includes some homicides for 2021 that did not occur in the calendar year.)

Even though the rates of homicides and shootings were down this year -- a longer look at the data paints a more complicated picture.

Guns were still involved in the vast majority of the city’s homicides -- at least 84% to be exact. (That number might be higher, but in some cases, the cause of death is not known or has not been released by authorities.)

And as for Jacksonville’s most deadly areas -- the 32209 ZIP code in Northwest Jacksonville had the most homicides yet again with 21. The area with the second most homicides was ZIP code 32206, which includes the Springfield, Eastside, and Brentwood neighborhoods. That area had 15 homicides reported.

“The areas that you see that are somewhat impoverished or is poverty stricken is where you’re going to see most of your violent crime,” Jefferson said.

But Jefferson said violence can touch any of us, regardless of ZIP code.

“Everybody should be concerned because there are people that live in Mandarin who have their children drive every day on the Northside to go to school, so regardless of where it’s happening, it affects all of us here in Jacksonville,” Jefferson said.

AJ Jordan, who works with families of crime victims as an outreach coordinator for MAD DADS in Jacksonville, said even one violent crime is one too many.

News4JAX data shows, in 2021, 435 people were shot in Jacksonville -- down from 554 people shot in 2020.

“That’s an issue. That’s a lot of people being shot so we still need to work on getting the shooters off the street,” Jordan said. “It’s drug-related, gang-related -- and some of it’s domestic. You know it’s a lot of different variations of it.”

Editor’s Note: Since the introduction of Marsy’s Law, News4Jax has relied on sources to provide some homicide-related information that would typically come from law enforcement, including the location of some crimes. The data we put forth in this article and the map below, including ages of victims and where crimes were reported, was compiled from those sources, law enforcement and our reporting in the field.

If you know the name of a homicide victim who is not named on our map, please email, and we will update our database.

About the Authors:

I-TEAM and general assignment reporter

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.