• JSO promoting "Sheriff's Watch" to better community relationships

    By: Kaitlyn Chana , Action News Jax

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is taking a hard stance in reducing crimes in some local neighborhoods.
    Sheriff Mike Williams is promoting a program called “Sheriff’s Watch” to enhance citizen and police officer relationships. 
    It allows neighbors to engage in monthly law enforcement meetings, safety fairs, and speak with officers in one-on-one settings.
    “Neighbors look out for each other. Nobody knows a neighborhood like the people that live there,” said Sheriff  Williams.
    Williams walked door-to-door asking neighbors at Roosevelt Gardens Apartments about their concerns in their community.
    He wanted to know about the violence, burglaries, and what JSO could do to better assist them.
    One handshake at a time is how Williams told Action News Jax he hopes to build rapport with neighbors.
     “We would encourage people to partner with us and take an active role in protecting their neighborhood,” said Williams.
    Through this Sheriff’s Walk, he addressed concerns like burglaries that are popping up in local communities.
    This comes as JSO sees an increase in apartment burglaries on Southside Boulevard and in the Baymeadows Circle area.
    On Wednesday, police said Xavier Houston, 24, was shot and killed after he and another young man broke into a home in Hillcrest.
    Houston was shot by the homeowner who had received an alert from his security system of a break-in.
    Williams explained his crime scene specialists analyze data daily to see if there are any patterns or trends that link back to repeat offenders.
    He said if you see something suspicious, call JSO immediately.
    “That may be the final piece we need to solve that crime and to arrest that person who has been burglarizing homes,” said Williams.
    Some neighbors who Williams spoke with say they don’t feel safe in their own homes.
    “It’s not safe for the kids. I don’t allow my daughter to come out and play because I’m scared of what could happen,” said a neighbor.

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