Jacksonville, FL — As the City of Jacksonville looks to fight back against violent crime, they’re looking at establishing a task force to focus on the issues.
City Council President Aaron Bowman is establishing the Task Force on Safety and Crime Prevention as a way to bring carrying expertise, experience, and resources together to recommend a path on addressing the issues. The Task Force will make recommendations to the City for how to better coordinate and fund safety and crime reduction measures, among other things.
Several Council members met last week to discuss the Task Force, and what exactly the body will look like. While there was a recommendation for a Chair, the Council members ultimately determined that they needed to allow anyone with interest not only in serving as Chair, but on the Task Force overall, the ability to put their name forward.
As such, Bowman has now released applications to be a member of the Task Force and to Chair it. Applications to be Chair of the Task Force are due by 5PM Friday, 10/26. Membership applications were originally due that same day, but that deadline has now been extended to 5PM Friday, 11/2. They can be downloaded off the City website.
The application paints a new picture on just how long this process may take- it says applicants must be willing to meet twice a month for around two years. Applicants are also being asked for any experience or expertise on these issues, as well as any additional comments or qualifications they want the selection committee to consider.
The membership of the Task Force will includes representatives form the City Council, Mayor’s Office, JSO, State Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Kids Hope Alliance, and Duval County Public Schools, but also people from less official backgrounds, like representatives from religious institutions, non-profits, business, neighborhood groups, and the youth community.
This is the latest step the City is exploring, as part of their overall effort to fight back on crime. Through the budget process, hundreds of thousands of dollars were approved for small grants for community organizations working on the ground against crime. That budget also includes funding for a "Real Time Crime Center", as the latest prong in some of the more intelligence-driven policing efforts that are being implemented as well.