• Jacksonville City Council President, Mayor give update on status of Crime & Safety Task Force

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    City leaders say they know it takes more than increasing police patrols and improving technology to improve the overall safety of Jacksonville.

    That's why they're working together to finalize The Task Force on Crime and Safety Reduction.

    Action News Jax Courtney Cole spoke to the Jacksonville City Council President, Aaron Bowman, and the Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry—to find out the steps being taken to put this initiative into action.

    "The tipping point for me was the shooting at the high school and then followed by the landing. I think we all got together and said okay, we’ve got to stop this,” said Bowman.

    President Bowman said at that point, they all got together to figure out how they could stop this from continuing to happen.

    That's where the idea for The Task Force on Safety and Crime Reduction, originated.

    Bowman and Mayor Lenny Curry say it’s apart of their 5-year-plan to improve the city of Jacksonville.

    "Public safety is our top priority. It’s the number one thing we have to do,” Mayor Curry told Action News Jax.

    The task force is set to have 40 members.

    “I wanted to make sure it was led by civilians so we couldn’t be accused of being —'this is just the government trying to do something they don’t know how to do’,” Bowman said.

    The head councilman is also calling on businesses to get involved.

    Action News Jax told you last week that Pastor Mark Griffin was nominated as the Chair of the task force.

    Councilman Samuel Newby is the Co-chair.

    Bowman and Curry have three main goals they'd like to achieve by putting the task force in place:

    • Getting boots on the ground in Jacksonville communities
    • Mentorship
    • Creating a job-skills program

    "If there’s poverty, there’s going to be crime so we have to give people the capability to get jobs,” said Bowman.

    When it comes to a timeline of when this task force will be up and running, President Bowman said he’s planning to pass the Task Force initiative through council by January of 2019.

    He’d like to kick it off by February of 2019.

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