Proposal for increased Police at Jax Beach

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. --- First Coast News has learned about a proposal to put more boots on the ground in Jacksonville beach.

Police have their sights set on one particular area at the beach, which is the area from 3rd street to the beach and 13 and South to 8th and North. Police are proposing to add three police officers and one Sargent to the area patrolled by Downtown Community Assisting Policing effort, or CAPE.

Todd Smith has been living in Jacksonville beach for 20 years.

"We've seen fights. Not quite riots, but kids getting out of control on Sunday afternoon," Smith said.

Jason Long, a seven-year native, says the trouble happens at night, too.

"Sometimes you'll see people putting graffiti on the street signs here and putting graffiti on the side of the buildings," Long said. "And then, you have public works coming in to clean it up at 3 or 4 in the morning."

Police tell First Coast News, 52 percent of the beaches arrests happen in the area they are proposing to increase patrol.

Rob Emahiser, Captain of Jacksonville Beach Rescue thinks the city has done their homework, including Police Chief Pat Dooley.

"Chief Dooley has consulted with other cities and I think they've done their homework and we should support them with the plan that they already have," Emahiser said.

Chief Dooley tells First Coast News that the proposed plan includes expanding the team to nine people. According to police, 25 percent of the police calls come from the downtown Jacksonville beach area covered by the Community Assisted Policing Effort.

Council will make a decision on the proposal come April 21.


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