Mythbusting Downtown Jacksonville: Safety

Photo by Rob Futrell

We’re no Jamie Hyneman or Adam Savage, but we’ve got a myth to bust – the misperception that Downtown Jacksonville is unsafe.

In a recent Downtown Marketing Collaborative survey, 26% of the nearly 4,000 respondents said they believe Downtown Jacksonville is unsafe. That’s 26% too many.

Downtown Jacksonville is one of the city’s safest neighborhoods. With that said, however, safety is everyone’s concern, whether in the urban core or elsewhere. That’s why Downtown Vision, Inc.’s website offers several safety tips for Downtowners and beyond. Some of those tips include:

  • Walk in well-traveled and well-lit places, especially at night. Report burned-out street lights to JEA. Other unsafe conditions, such as broken sidewalks or unsecured vacant buildings, should be reported to 904-630-CITY or by submitting a Care Complaint (click green “Create Issue” icon at left).
  • Pay attention, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Project a confident image and walk with a purpose.
  • Always lock your car, and take your keys with you. Use a mobile phone app, such as G-Park or iParked, to help you remember where you parked.

One of the biggest contributors to the perception that Downtown is unsafe is the nuisance of panhandling. Downtown is part of the Riverfront Enhancement Area, where it is illegal to panhandle. You can actively help us reduce its occurrences. Never give money to a panhandler – it simply encourages the activity. Immediately report all incidents to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office via their non-emergency line, 904-630-0500.

In addition to these safety tips, DVI’s Downtown Ambassadors are available for directions, safety escorts and general Downtown information during their normal hours of operation within the Downtown improvement district. Find an Ambassador, dressed in an orange shirt and pith helmet, or call 904-465-7980.

Don’t let the misperception that Downtown is unsafe prevent you from enjoying the heart of our great city. The more people who come Downtown to live, work and play, the more eyes and ears we’ll have on the streets, which will reduce nuisance activity, and moreover, help debunk this Downtown myth.