Burton: Collaboration Key in Crime Reduction Efforts

Hard work, effective community policing strategies and strong collaboration among important stakeholders are helping build the trust necessary to effect recent reductions in Jacksonville’s crime rates, said Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton, commander of JSO’s Zone 2 and a candidate for sheriff in the 2023 race.

“Congratulations to all the men and women of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for their work in helping affect significant crime reduction across the city last year,” Burton said. “While we certainly have far to go, the reductions we saw in 2021, and the efforts behind that, should be recognized and lauded. This type of progress doesn’t happen without hard work and cooperation among JSO’s leaders, investigators, patrol officers, community stakeholders, city officials, our State Attorney’s Office, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, as well as business and school leaders. All these important contributors deserve credit today.

“I’m especially proud that under my leadership as commander of JSO’s Zone 2 last year we saw a 16% reduction in overall crime – that’s more than double what was achieved in any other JSO zone and larger than any crime reduction ever recorded in Zone 2. In a region with several very high-crime neighborhoods, we used proven collaborative efforts to address violent crime and hard work to embrace the concept of community policing. I believe that in Zone 2 we’ve shown that when law enforcement professionals are intentional about creating positive interactions, strengthening partnerships, and working side-by-side with the community to solve issues at the grassroot level, we can reduce crime and build trust within the communities we serve. Let’s continue to move forward together and bridge the gaps that remain.”