JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Many Jacksonville residents are simply fed up with the amount of violence in our city.
The frustration is inspiring some to step up to curb the ongoing issue of people losing their lives to gun violence.
A Northside man who says he was caught up in a life of violence at a young age changed his life around.
“It’s a scary feeling, it could be you, your relative, a friend, but most importantly, I try to ask why," Dale Rodriguez said. "Why would you go murder your dad, your brother, many of these people know each other."
Rodriguez is sickened after seven shootings this weekend took four lives and injured three others.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is still working to find those responsible in six out of those seven incidents.
State senators were inspired to call for action.
Rodriguez thinks there needs to be less talk.
“I think the problem with citizens, myself included, we don’t do a lot, we’re waiting for our voted leaders to do something, and I agree with that, but some of us can mentor children, to volunteer with certain organizations helping this problem.”
Rodriguez says he had his civil rights restored following an arrest. He says he was caught up in a violent lifestyle as a juvenile.
He’s now working with the Florida Felons Rights Restoration Coalition to help felons get back on their feet.
In addressing Jacksonville’s crime problem, sheriff candidate Tony Cummings feels it needs to be addressed on all fronts.
“That means getting everyone involved from the faith-based community to the non-profits to the business community and everyone has to address this crime problem. But first and foremost, it’s the sheriff’s responsibility to render the area safe enough.”
Cummings feels there are plenty of police officers, but they need to be used properly.
“Get them from behind the desk, out of their comfort zone and back into those hot pockets, high crime areas to effectively engage the community to get community support, what’s happened over the years is that support has eroded.”
Cummings said he would even lend his support to current sheriff Mike Williams, despite the outcome of the March elections.
“No one has a patent on great ideas when it comes to addressing the crime problem in our community. We’re not going to get a handle on it if we do not include everyone at the table and work on this problem together.”