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Posted: 8:31 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jax Beach Councilman: There are lessons to learn from fight

Jacksonville Beach Brawl
Action News
Jacksonville Beach police were called to the beach after a fight broke out.

By Stephanie Brown

Jacksonville Beach, FL —

In the days following fights involving dozens of people in Jacksonville Beach, many of you tell us there’s a growing problem with crime and you’re concerned.

Now, one Jacksonville Beach official tells us that message is coming in loud and clear.

“A lot of people care about our community, care about the safety of the families within our community, and I definitely appreciate that,” says Jacksonville Beach City Councilman Phillip Vogelsang.

He tells us the council has already acted on that concern, recently hiring two more officers who will be patrolling downtown beginning next month.

But he says there are other lessons to be learned.

“We could have more officers readily available to come and assess situations and respond to crises as they happen,” he says.

He was at a business near the fight Monday night and tells us, overall, he was impressed at how police handled the crowd.

“Things started out of control and a few people became unruly, the police department took complete control of the situation,” Vogelsang says.

Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham agrees. In a statement to WOKV, he says “the situation Memorial Day weekend was handled well by our Police Department and our Chief of Police made all the right decisions to get the situation under control quickly.”

The most important thing Vogelsang wants Jax Beach residents to take out of the fight, is that it’s not going to become a common thing.

“We do have the situation under control, we are making efforts to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he says.

A message he wants you to keep in mind especially as the vacation season approaches.

“Countless number of summers without incident- we’ve obviously been doing something right.”

Jax Beach Police maintains there are no numbers to support claims of any rise in crime in the area.

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