JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Citing 29 violent crimes -- including eight murders -- in the past two weeks, Sheriff John Rutherford said his agency will need to ramp up officer overtime and re-deploy resources to combat the spate of violence.
The majority of the recent violent crimes occurred outside the Operation Ceasefire zone -- the site of increased law enforcement efforts since May.
Rutherford said the push to increase patrols for Operation Ceasefire had resulted in a decline in violent crime in that area -- roughly bordered by Beaver Street, Edgewood Avenue, Moncrief and I-95 -- but "crime went up" elsewhere.
"When we put resources in, we see crime go down," he said. "That's why restoring these officers is so important. Right now it's like whack-a-mole. You smash one here, it pops up over there. So that's the challenge"
Rutherford said he would add additional officers to Downtown and Westside neighborhoods hard hit by recent crime, and press for additional money in the upcoming budget cycle to restore officers. He called on the community to raise moral children who respect "the sanctity of life."
"Why is it we are raising more killers than we should be?" he asked. "I don't subscribe to the idea that crime is about economics. Crime is about values."