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Recent Public Opinion Survey of JSO Released
March 14, 2023
Report Shows:
◾ 87% Feel Safe in Their Neighborhoods
◾ Gun violence remains a top safety concern for respondents across all six zones

In an in-depth public opinion poll of community attitudes about policing in Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office earned high approval ratings in several critically important areas, the agency announced today.

Poll results include:
  • Eighty-seven percent of Duval County residents feel safe in their neighborhood. (page 6 of the report)
  • Patrol Zone 3 (Southside) had 92% of respondents agree that they feel safe in their neighborhood followed by Zones 2, 4, and 6 rating in the high eighties. (page 7 of the report)
  • Overall, 64% of residents agree that Jacksonville is a safe place to live. (page 6 of the report)
  • Respondents throughout the city unanimously agreed that they would like to see an increase in visible presence / patrolling. (page 21 of the report)
  • The top three public safety concerns remain the same with 42% concerned about gun violence followed by homelessness (20%) and mental health (14%). (page 24 of the report)
  • More than half of residents (54%) agree that JSO does a good job at handling complex investigations. (page 12 of the report)
  • Only 38% of respondents think that JSO has enough officers to meet the city’s needs. (page 16 of the report)
  • When asked the question: “In your encounters with JSO personnel, you find them to be courteous and competent,” overall satisfaction is 68%. (page 9 of the report) Among the sample size, the top two complaints, were that personnel were rude, arrogant, or dismissive and unresponsive, ineffective, or incompetent. (page 10 of the report)
  • Respondents were polled on JSO’s handling of complex investigations, investigating officer-involved shootings, following up on allegations of police misconduct and reporting back to the community about its findings on investigations of police misconduct. While the results have decreased since the initial biennial report conducted in 2016, Sheriff Waters recognizes this as an area for improvement. When he took office in late-November, the same time this polling began, Sheriff Waters pledged to be proactive and transparent with the community regarding investigations. (page 12 of the report)
Sheriff Waters’ Administration is thankful to those who took the time to provide this invaluable feedback as it highlights areas for improvement, allowing the JSO to embrace our core value of always improving. As Sheriff’s Office personnel continue to reevaluate the boundaries of the city’s patrol areas, the Waters’ Administration is optimistic that the new divisions will address issues, provide a greater police presence throughout the city, and help make Jacksonville a safer place to live and work.
The academic research study was conducted by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Laboratory, November 21 – December 27, 2022. It did not include the beaches areas, as they are not a primary service area of the agency. The cost was $45,000. A link to the entire survey is available by clicking here or going to and visiting the “Open Data and Transparency” Section.
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