Improving safety among biggest goals for city of Jacksonville over next 5 years

City leaders want to put plans in place to help Downtown grow as an entertainment and residential area.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Thursday morning, city leaders  went over their annual review of the city to see what's working and what needs some improvement.

When it comes to safety in the city, Councilman Aaron Bowman realizes there's still a lot of work to be done.

Last year the city started the Task Force on Safety and Crime Reduction and the Cure Violence program.

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Action News Jax told you Wednesday the city has seen at least eight shootings in less than a week, and this year alone, there's been at least 100 murders.

"The events of yesterday is a slap in the face telling me we have a lot of work to do," Bowman said.


Debbie Rose has lived in Jacksonville for almost five decades on the northside.

She told us what the city needs is more youth programs to help cut down on crime.

"Rather than going somewhere, getting mad at someone for doing something and killing each other. I mean, give them something to do other than just ride around and getting in trouble," Rose said.

It's something Bowman says he's working on.

He told us he would like to expand the Kids Hope Alliance into a larger mentorship program to help keep kids off the streets.

The city said Thursday's meeting is really about generating long-term goals and that some of these goals are going to take a year, while others are going to take five years or more.

Bowman said one success story for the city is reducing the homeless population through the Urban Rest Stop at Sulzbacher.

"Now it's open seven days a week, and we're seeing a real difference of people just hanging out in the streets now, giving them a vision of how they can get a job, get them to a place to live and really take care of themselves," he said.

Bowman said their plan is to finish up their list of goals, and then they'll present them to the administration early next year so they can request funding.

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