JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville sheriff candidates Lakesha Burton and T.K. Waters fielded questions Friday at the River Club about one of the city’s biggest concerns, crime.
“Roughly about 15 teenagers have been murdered in this city and as a mother I'm outraged so on day one I'm going to bring this community together," said Burton.
Both candidates agree that work needs to be done in the city.
“We have to look at how we patrol in our city," said Waters. "We have to look at the manpower and where we put it. Day one we’ll start looking at our zone alignments, get our populations to be equaled out, and we’ll base it on that and put our officers in places to help us be more successful in being proactive when dealing with violent crimes."
Waters says with the expansion of Jacksonville he believes more officers need to be hired.
“You want to continue to serve this city the right way and make sure we can do what we weren't designed to do," said Waters. "We have to increase that number. We can’t continue to kick the can down the road we have to build it."
Burton contends it’s going to take more than additional police and advanced technology. She says officers need to do a better job connecting with the community.
“Its more than just the equipment we carry" said Burton. "We have to give them the tools here and here how to engage with our community that is the only way we are able to address our crime problem long term building relationships. Building those partnerships and empowering communities who historically thought they did not have a voice."
The General Election is Nov. 8 and early voting in Duval County starts Monday.