Jacksonville’s murder rate continues to creep ahead of 2021 on the heels of another violent weekend. However, the rate at which the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is solving homicides has hit a six-year low.
Action News Jax dug through JSO’s transparency page, which shows detectives have solved approximately 29% of cases.
In 2021, the department hit a five-year high with 50% of cases solved in the year.
Murders are currently trending slightly above last year’s rate with seven more murders than 2021, but it’s still below the murder rates in the same time frame in 2020 and 2019.
“We got to turn individuals in who are doing this. We’ve got to break the code of silence,” Donald Foy, with MAD DADS, said. “JSO wasn’t there when any one of these shootings occurred. So how can we expect them to solve it and they weren’t even there?”
For comparison, the murder solve rate in Orlando was even less, at about 25%.
While the solve rate is down, JSO’s budget is on the rise. According to Mayor Lenny Curry’s office, he’s increased the sheriff’s budget by about $100 million since he took office eight years ago.
The last city budget allocated $502 million to JSO.
Council Member Reggie Gaffney told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant that the city told him this year’s proposed budget would be $550 million for JSO.
“We keep giving the sheriff increases which, yeah, you need more cops out there. But we then gave smaller dollars to (crime fighting) nonprofits and churches,” he said.
His suggestion is to give more money to boots-on-the-ground organizations and towards mental health.
“We all got to make a better emphasis on solving these murders. I’m not saying they’re not. But it’s called insanity when you keep doing the same thing and get the same old outcome. Well, we’ve been doing this for a minute,” he said. “What I want the City of Jacksonville to do is focus on mental health and family.”
The city would not provide any details about the mayor’s budget proposal before the presentation set for this Thursday at City Hall.
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