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Jacksonville Marks National Crime Victims Rights Week At City Hall

Ryan Benk

Jacksonville marked the start of National Crime Victims’ Week Monday at City Hall, while Mayor Lenny Curry and State Attorney Melissa Nelson are traveling to Colorado researching new gun-tracking software.

City community affairs director Charles Moreland read Curry’s proclamation and promise to keep the victims of crime — any crime — on his mind and in his heart.

“The mayor, by virtue of the authority vested in him as mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, do hereby proclaim April 2 through the eighth 2017 as National Crime Victims Rights Week and joins community members, victims service providers and criminal justice professionals who are committed to improving our response to all victims of crime,” he said.

Monday’s proclamation reading was the first of many memorials this week, including the Justice Coalition’s tossing of the roses event honoring victims of homicide and the University of North Florida’s unity event Wednesday evening.

Curry made public safety a centerpiece to his campaign and policies as Jacksonville’s chief executive. Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams and Nelsonannounced in February the city would implement a federal database to track spent shell casings in shootings. It was most successfully used in Denver.

A full list of the week’s remembrances:

Monday, 6 p.m.

  • Tossing of the Roses – Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr.

The Justice Coalition will host a tossing of the roses event, which honors victims of homicide and their families by tossing a rose in the St. Johns River at the Jacksonville Landing.

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

  • Take Back the Night – UNF Student Center, 1 UNF Dr.

UNF students and the public are invited to march around the campus in a show of unity and support against crime.

Thursday, 12 p.m.

  • Annual Awards Recognition Luncheon – Downtown Main Library, 303 N. Laura St.

Sponsored by the Mayor’s Victim Assistance Advisory Council, the luncheon will honor crime victims and their families, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding achievements on behalf of crime victims and victims’ rights. Award categories include Courageous Victim, Outstanding Victim Advocate, Judicial Victim Advocate, Law Enforcement Advocate and Media. Tickets are $30, tables are $300. For more information, call Thelma Jackson at (904) 630-7103.

Saturday, 12 p.m.

  • Unity in the Community – Families of Slain Children, 3108 North Myrtle Ave.

Families of Slain Children will hold a day of celebration for victims and their families.  Refreshments will be served.

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

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.