Transparency, taxpayer money billed as solutions to Jacksonville police problems – Florida Politics (blog)
More transparency. More community engagement. More meetings. More body cameras. And higher millage rates. And that August pension reform referendum? Spoiler: that sales tax extension is not going to provide enough money to pay for what’s needed.
Such insights abounded in the long-awaited final report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office‘s strategic initiative task forces. It surfaced Monday, arguing for greater transparency and more resources.
The task force, comprised of prominent community figures of various types, offered recommendations that included reforming the way the JSO deals with African-American males and “males of color,” issues of citizen engagement (including body cameras and public records requests), training, retention, and retirement.
Sheriff Mike Williams cited engaging the community as one of his priorities ahead of the convening of these task forces, noting certain recommendations could directly impact how the JSO does business going forward.
The “community engagement” task force recommended each citizen have at least one “positive interaction” with the JSO per year.
That task force recommended meetings twice a year between the sheriff and leadership of programs that “serve and mentor African-American males and males of color.” As well, increasing mentorship opportunities for law enforcement officers and collaboration with the Duval County Public Schools’ police force are recommendations.
Regarding communications and public information efforts, the task force recommends that “other languages, cultures, and generational differences” be considered in crafting these messages.
“Recruit college students to assist with this as a service learning project,” the task force advises.
As one might expect, the “community engagement” task force focused on ways to create community buy-in, including creating “partnerships” with mass media outlets. and “deeper data and community mapping” of population segments that “may not be engaged or served.”
An especially intriguing suggestion: to have a “team of police athletes pop up” at basketball courts or playgrounds