ICARE faith leaders meet, set date to meet with Jacksonville sheriff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After six months of trying to meet with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, a citywide group of faith leaders has a date set.

On March 28, members of ICARE (Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment) say they’ll push the sheriff and State Attorney Melissa Nelson to create the adult civil citation program that they say they were promised.

On Monday night, by Zoom, leaders let their hundreds of members citywide know about the meeting and invited as many that could make it.

During the meeting, group leaders replayed video, showing their impromptu visit to police headquarters downtown two weeks ago, when they tried to deliver 200 letters to the sheriff, or his assistant.

The letters support the topic the group is now tackling -- pressing law enforcement to issue adults civil citations instead of arrests for minor offenses, sharing 2019 statistics with their members.

The group says the current use of juvenile civil citations for minor offenses has saved taxpayers $2.2 million yearly.

Each faith organization pledged to bring their members to the March 28 meeting called the Nehemiah Action Assembly.

“I am from Abessynia Miissionary Baptist Church, and we will have 100 people at this year’s Nehemiah Action Assembly,” one person pledged.

The Jacksonville Jewish Center hopes to have 30 members at the Nehemiah Action Assembly.

Christ Episcopal Church plans to have 150 people there.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.