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Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office ‘Commission On Progress’ Begins Work

Ryan Benk

A new commission convened Thursday to begin measuring how well the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is implementing task force recommendations from last year.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams asked the four taskforces to write a strategic plan.

Now, the Commission on Progress will study how well police are doing at increasing transparency, community engagement, training and resources.

The six-member commission has its work cut out, with the strategic plan listing more than 100 steps the sheriff’s office could take to improve its relationship with the community.

“Our real job is just sort of keep everybody focused, I think, more than anything else,” Commission Chairman Rev. Allison DeFoor said.

DeFoor is an Episcopal priest and retired Monroe County sheriff. He said the goal Thursday was to get a sense of the path forward.

Each member of the commission chose a subject to track, like transparency or community engagement, and brainstormed examples from other places where police have already plowed the same ground.

DeFoor said it’s not clear whether the commission’s job is to simply track progress or make new recommendations.

“Seems a little early to figure that out. I mean, we’ve got 109 recommendations to deal with, but if something flows out of those, 109 it would seem logical to be an extension of it,” he said.

The commission is still setting its schedule and will announce the next meeting soon.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk.