We saw a sudden and controversial end this week to a committee focused on policing and community trust in Jacksonville. After a week of frustration and disappointment for many of the people involved, City Council President Sam Newby announced Wednesday that the work of the committee was “complete.”
That’s not an opinion shared by the chairwoman of the Safer Together committee or a coalition of 15 community organizations.
On This Week in Jacksonville this Sunday, we’ll have Kent Justice’s comprehensive interview with Joyce Morgan, councilwoman for City Council District 1 and chair of the committee.
“I do not think we completed what we set out to do because the biggest thing about this was communication,” Morgan said. “It was about the conversation. And, you know I’m especially disappointed because the conversation was sometimes contentious, but I said that from the very beginning that this was going to be a difficult conversation, that it was not going to be easy for any of us.
“It was not going to be easy for the sheriff’s department to listen or theirs, or the police,” Morgan continued. “You need to listen to what citizens have to say, but it wasn’t going to be easy for the citizens, either to listen to what the other side had to say. So we were all in this together and we have to remain together as we move forward as a community.”
On Sunday’s program, Councilman Michael Boylan, who resigned as vice chair of the committee on Monday, weighed in on why he choose to leave. We also hear from a local activist who hopes the committee will be resurrected.
In other City Council businesses, we’ll member LeAnna Cumber’s work to fight sex trafficking in Jacksonville. She recently won an award for her work and we talked about legislation passed to try and make things safer for women and girls in the region.
“It’s important that people understand that there are multiple ways to be sex-trafficked, and one of the most basic definitions though isn’t what people used to think of as,” Cumber said. “So it doesn’t take someone to be kidnapped or so forth like they kind of depicted in Hollywood.
“It’s, you know, what we see every day in various parts of the city. And so it’s something that we really need to tackle because kids as young as 12 are being trafficked and younger, and then all the way up. And so it really, really damages the city as a whole, damages neighborhoods, families, and of course women and girls.”
You can watch the full interviews with all of our guests on This Week in Jacksonville at 9 a.m. Sunday on Channel 4 and at noon Sunday on CW17.