Since taking office in 2015, I have witnessed a transformation in our community. One that has seen us make significant gains in making good things happen.
We have seen reductions in violent crime in areas that have struggled for a long time. We have seen more collaborative efforts focused on investing in our children, and we have seen JSO grow into an innovative and dynamic agency.
Today’s JSO is ready to answer any challenge to work actively with our community to protect Jacksonville. We will continue walking side-by-side with you, our community in every neighborhood to combat the street culture of gangs, drugs, and violence that threatens families and neighborhoods.
I remain committed to our simple core strategy moving forward. Doing more of what works and doing it better.
We will stay the course with a sharpened focus on people and places who need our attention. Every neighborhood deserves to be safe. We will not stop working, partnering, and serving until that is a reality in our city.
We know that new technology provides tools that are keys to unlocking positive results. We are getting bad guys off of our streets faster and I am confident we will gain even more ground in this arena.
As important as the tools can be, we cannot win without community. The people of Jacksonville stand strong with the men and women of JSO. This unwavering support continues to astound me and I am ever grateful to you all.
I am also indebted to the partners who work with us to disrupt the cycle of violence. The Police Athletic League of Jacksonville and the Kids Hope Alliance, and others are prevention programs that are having a strong positive effect on our children, our future.
While at PAL we see success in improved reading and math skills, athletic scholarships and increased graduation rates. The rewards are paid out in each and every smile of a child who knows they matter and have a future in our city.
All of this progress is enhanced by the strong collaboration with the Mayor, the City Council, the State Attorney and the Public Defender. They share with me a steadfast commitment for the safety of everyone who lives in and visits our great city. Our partnership is dedicated to finding more effective ways to enhance the quality of life here in Jacksonville and we will continue to measure our progress in lives saved.
I want to reiterate that I simply could not be more proud of the men and women of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The more than 3,000 employees working every day to protect every citizen in every neighborhood. They are the backbone of our agency. Their unmatched dedication is why we are a national model in law enforcement. I want to thank them for serving this great community with me.
Lastly, to my wife Jodi and our boys, I am so grateful that you stand with me. I know you share in my commitment to serve our city. Your constant love and support makes every day easier. Thank you.
So as we head into the next four years, the path will be one we all take together. Thank you Jacksonville for the confidence and faith you have placed in me. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless our great city.