JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Patrick Dooley addressed a standing room only crowd at Monday's city council meeting.
The police chief defending his officers, department and methods of crime prevention after the Memorial Day fight at Jax Beach.
The safety plan includes additional officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and a manned observation deck for special events, which will be key as the city prepares for Fourth of July fireworks.
"City council made it very clear, their concern is everybody behaves themselves and if there's a major problem then it's something we'll have to consider whether we do it again," said George Forbes, City Manager for City of Jax Beach.
Dozens of people standing in the hallway to city council chambers waited for over an hour for their five minutes of time to share their thoughts and concerns on Jax Beach safety. A number of people blamed the recent spike in crime on a lack of officers.
"We've created this environment when people come out here and get away with a number of smaller things, that's when the bigger crimes happen," said Jon McGowan, a concerned resident.
For other concerned residents, crowd control at special events and holidays is the main problem, but the city would have to walk a fine line between welcoming and turning away potential Jax Beach visitors.
"It seems like a catch 22 because they don't want bad stuff to happen at the beach, but we need people to come here because we need the money from town," said Corinne Housley, a concerned resident.
First Coast News