JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was another violent weekend in Jacksonville. Six shootings were reported in just over 24 hours. At least three people are dead and one is in life-threatening condition.
The number of shootings is an example of the dangerous conditions many people in Jacksonville have to live in. We went to the five candidates for Jacksonville Sheriff to get their take on the violence, and how to solve it. Read their responses in alphabetical order below.
“Yet another weekend of senseless violence is unacceptable. Our city feels numb from the broken record that plays over and over which is why CRIME and PUBLIC SAFETY is the #1 concern to citizens. What we have been doing is obviously not working. It’s time to change the failed strategies. We should always enforce the law and put those who break the law in jail. We should also make sure education and prevention are part of the approach. I know it works. I have done it.” Lakesha Burton
“This further demonstrates the need for a community solution to the violent crime in our city. The murder on the eastside occurred in the neighborhood where I grew up, and I know there are great people working hard to make that community safe for everyone.” Wayne Clark
The violent weekend in Jacksonville serves as an unfortunate reminder of the colossal amount of work that we, as a community, will face in the coming months and years to turn this violent crime problem around. Regaining the trust of the public with accountability and oversight responsibilities inside the agency, is essential to rebuilding the trust between our agency and the public to get out in front of this violent crime problem. In addition, we must get serious about incentivizing the return of the 1/3 of JSO officers living out-of-county, to put them back into Duval County neighborhoods where the taxpayers are paying for their service. That’s 650 officers with patrol vehicle that are not providing any deterrence on the streets of Jacksonville for 6-months out of the year. This is unacceptable and an incredible waste of taxpayer’s dollars. By reincorporating those officers back into the county, and add public accountability and oversight inside JSO, we can perhaps position our city to see a sustainable reduction in these all of familiar violent weekends. Dr. Tony Cummings
“Violent crime is ripping our community to its core. No neighborhood is exempt, and until real, strategic change happens every citizen’s safety is at risk. Every. Single. Day.” Ken Jefferson
“One homicide in our community is one too many. This weekend’s violence reinforces JSO’s need to add more officers to the streets and increase patrols. We must also act decisively to target violent criminals and gangs for prosecution to keep our community safe.” T.K. Waters