JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The candidates for Jacksonville sheriff made one last push Monday night to show the community how they intend to keep people safe.
Democrat Lakesha Burton and Republican TK Waters shared the spotlight at I.C.A.R.E's 2022 Community Problems Assembly at Christ the King Catholic Church.
I-CARE, a group of religious congregations, works to hold community leaders accountable for some of Jacksonville's biggest issues - like crime.
"Are you in favor of developing an adult, civil citation program," asked Moderator Geneva Pittman.
State law allows law enforcement agencies with this kind of program to issue citations instead of making arrests for certain misdemeanor offenses.
Rather than having to appear in court or having the misdemeanor on their record, cited adults would pay a fine, take a program and complete community service.
"No I am not," said Waters. "I am a firm believer that adults have a responsibility juveniles do not. I am in favor of juvenile civil citations."
"I am in favor of adult civil citations for first time offenders for nonviolent, victimless crimes," said Burton.
The other question posed to the candidates was if they would be willing to work with the National Network for Safe Communities - a nonprofit that works with agencies to rethink how they police.
"Yes I am," said Burton. "I've been on the campaign trail for two months and I've been saying we have two cities in one. The priorities should be to build trust between our communities and JSO."
"Yes I am," said Waters. "In 2016, we began our journey trying to try and find a way to rebuild trust in our community and attack the problem of violent crime."
Two key reminders for Tuesday's sheriff's race:
1) Most races on the ballot will list the Republican candidate first (Governor, Senator, etc.) due to a state law that requires the state races be listed with the sitting governor's party first. However, that changes with the sheriff's race, since the Jacksonville city charter laws require local races list in alphabetical order.
2) Tuesday's sheriff election is a special election, meaning the seat will be back up for grabs in March after a short, five month term. The winning candidate will need to be re-elected in the March election to keep the position for a standard term.