Curry addresses spate of crime plaguing Jacksonville

Mayor: One person afraid of their neighborhood is too many

By Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter, Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As he announced his endorsement of Congressman Ron DeSantis, R-Palm Coast, Mayor Lenny Curry spoke briefly on Jacksonville's recent wave of violent crime.

Curry and DeSantis toured an after-school program Thursday, where the mayor made it known he and DeSantis view crime equally -- as a priority. DeSantis spoke about how he would address the issue as Florida's governor.

"We've got to be hand-in-hand, the gangs and some of the stuff we've seen are intolerable," DeSantis said. "You cannot have thriving communities if they're not safe."

Curry has made public safety a foundation of his policies in three years as mayor. He says after school programs, like the one he and DeSantis toured, can help reduce crime.

However, the mayor pointed to issues he's dealt with before taking office when referring to crime in the city.

"Law enforcement as recently as four years ago was gutted in this city. Public safety was not invested in," Curry said. "I have said since day one, one violent crime -- one person afraid of their neighborhood is too many.

Curry said he's invested heavily in putting more members of law enforcement on the street.

"We're going to keep fighting our way out of the hole that the past put us in. I'm in charge now. These are the cards I've been dealt, but I'm working for families every day," Curry said.

The mayor's remarks come after News4Jax learned of an anonymous letter that passed Curry's desk asking for the National Guard to be called in to patrol Jacksonville streets.

News4Jax asked Sheriff Mike Williams about the letter. He said more officers on the street will reassure people, but it's not the entire answer. His new budget includes money for high-tech crime tools including body cameras.

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