Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams says he supports increased funding for a crime-prevention program called the Jacksonville Journey — even if its success isn’t immediately apparent.
On WJCT’s First Coast Forum Thursday night, Williams said Journey programs are designed to keep kids motivated and busy so they don’t become involved with gangs or drugs.
“It may be tough to look at a Journey program in year 1 or 2 or 3, but look at a young man or woman who is age 7, and really the measurables are going to be at age 17,” Williams said. “Where are they? Are they graduating from high school? Are they joining the military? Are they going off to college? Or are they in the criminal justice system?”
Mayor Lenny Curry is proposing to fund an additional $3 million worth of Journey programs this year, although his budget would cut funding from some existing programs.
And Sheriff Williams says the short-term focus for police should be disrupting the drug trade in the city.
Watch First Coast Forum: Violent Crime below or tune in Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3 p.m. on 89.9 FM for an audio rebroadcast.