This month, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office added a squad of six daytime bicycle officers Downtown, doubling the amount of officers Monday through Friday during the day. The new team will focus on developing relationships with building security guards and ground floor businesses as well as reducing nuisance activity, especially camping and panhandling. Downtown remains one of Jacksonville’s safest neighborhoods with more officers per square mile than any other Jacksonville neighborhood.
Nuisance reports for June show an uptick in homeless campsites (40%) and loitering (25%) versus the monthly average, while panhandling numbers remained flat. Downtown Ambassadors continue to be a major force multiplier when it comes to safety Downtown. In all three areas, Ambassadors were able to diffuse the situations more than 90% of the time without JSO officer assistance. Ambassadors also reported the number of instances of disorderly conduct, fights and assaults remains low, averaging only four cases each month.
As always, remember: Downtown is part of the Riverfront Enhancement Area, where it is illegal to panhandle and sleep on public property. If you are panhandled or witness nuisance activity, report it to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500.