• Jacksonville

    Jacksonville, FL began its implementation of the Group Violence Intervention in April 2016.


The City of Jacksonville has been working with the National Network for Safe Communities since April 2016. Jacksonville GVI held its first call-in in August 2016. Under the leadership of Assistant Chief and GVI Project Manager Thomas Waters, the initiative has seen strong collaboration between key law enforcement stakeholders. The team has begun conducting weekly custom notifications in order to spread the "stop the violence" message and head off retaliation.

News & Updates

Jacksonville death toll troubling, but officials say there is hope

January 2018  |  The Florida Times-Union  

Murders, where someone illegally takes the life of someone, are different from homicides, which can include justifiable self-defense shootings, Sheriff Mike Williams said. So his agency’s cumulative numbers were a bit lower for 2017. But each one was “a tragedy,” Williams said, as he reiterated that many stem from a small percent of the city’s population made up of gang members, entertainment groups, drug crews and that street culture. And it’s been that way for the last few years.

“We know we have a relatively small number of people that are driving a significant portion of the violence,” Williams said. “When I say driving the violence, it is not that this number of people are victimizing the community over and over. They are victimizing themselves. When I say themselves, I am talking about the community of people who buy, sell and use drugs and hang around people who do. ... That is the group victimizing themselves over and over again, which in every city drives up murder and violent crime rates.”

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

Jacksonville police using new intervention strategy to crack gangs, curb gun violence

August 2017  |  The Florida Times-Union  

It is one of the newest strategies in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arsenal to muzzle the gun violence that helped drive many of the 85 homicides so far this year.

It’s resulted in about 1,500 arrests and the seizure of almost 300 guns in the past year, plus dented violent gangs. The Group Violence Intervention strategy was born from a simple formula — face-to-face talks between cops and that 1 percent that Sheriff Mike Williams said are responsible for about 40 percent of the city’s violent crimes.

The message — stop or we stop you, Williams said as he pointed to 35 photos spread across two tables. Out of that group of people, 33 were arrested from three gangs and two were murdered.

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

Sheriff touts technology, anti-gang effort in JSO’s fight against violence

August 2017  |  News4Jax  

Sheriff Mike Williams said part of the National Network for Safe Communities gang initiative was warning the gang members that if they committed crimes, they would be arrested. Now many are in jail.

“The messaging is, 'Don't be the most violent gang in the city. Don't shoot or kill anyone. Those are the new rules,'” Williams said. “This is what happens when you violate those rules. You become the most violent gang in the city, you become the priority of not only JSO but our law enforcement partners. This is the end result of that.”

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

Community comes together to find ways to reduce Jacksonville’s gun violence

February 2017  |  The Florida Times-Union  

The most powerful message about gun violence in Jacksonville came without words Saturday morning — just a few shaking hands slowly raised, and a couple of heads nodding by children replying to the question whether they feel safe in their schools or neighborhoods.

That more of the estimated 20 children and teens didn’t indicate they feel safe in places where they should, appeared to illustrate what adults described as the epidemic of gun violence permeating the city.

The youngsters were among about 40 people including parents, grandparents, church and community leaders, and concerned residents who came together for a frank discussion in search of realistic ways to reduce gun violence evidenced by almost daily shootings, and recent incidents of guns found at Duval County Public Schools campuses.

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention

Opinion: Community-police dialogue is a win-win for all

January 2017  |  The Florida Times-Union  

What’s the best way to bridge the disconnect that exists between some in our community and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office?

It’s by being willing to address it in honest fashion.

That’s why Florida State College at Jacksonville should be applauded for recently hosting a “Community Conversation” forum that brought together present and former members of JSO’s command structure, FSCJ professors, students and other citizens to discuss the relationship between local law enforcement and Jacksonville’s residents.

Tags: Jacksonville Group Violence Intervention