Police records show there are around 1,300 unsolved murders in Jacksonville dating back to 1970. The city has roughly the same number of unsolved murders as the entire state of Colorado. We discuss efforts to change investigation procedures and offer more support to victims' families. WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride, Project Cold Case executive director Ryan Backmann and JSO head of investigations Chief Tom Hackney join us.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer is on administrative leave and a robbery suspect is behind bars after a police-involved shooting in Baldwin Monday.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Tom Hackney says 12-year JSO veteran Officer Jeff Webster was patrolling the area, looking for an armed robbery suspect. The robbery was caught on camera last week at the IGA grocery store.

Webster believed he saw the suspect around noon Monday, and pursued him. Hackney says the man fled on foot and jumped a fence.

Jacksonville City Hall, St. James Building
Ray Hollister / WJCT News

The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee considered funding for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Thursday.

Sheriff Mike Williams was on hand to answer council members’ questions.

“We’ve done a lot of work prior to today to prepare you know working with the council and the mayor’s office,” Williams said. “But I think this is the kind of meeting you get when you have a council and a mayor and a sheriff that really do work together every day.”

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

UPDATE: A description of the two possible wallets Daniel Rowe was carrying at the time he was robbed was added.

A reward of $7,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the murder of a Riverside restaurant employee.

Two men are believed to have robbed the victim before shooting him in the head.

On Wednesday, July 22, at around 10 p.m., Daniel Rowe was taking out the trash behind the Blind Rabbit restaurant on King Street where he worked. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director Tom Hackney says that’s when it’s believed two men approached the 20-year-old father of two, took his wallet at gunpoint and shot him.



This week searchers in Jacksonville found the remains of two men while looking for missing toddler Lonzie Barton.

On Monday, police found the first body in the woods near the Avenues Mall. It’s believed to be a man, but it has not yet been identified. Some suspect the remains belong to Navy Chief Petty Officer Kevin Williams who went missing two years ago.


A candidate for Florida State Attorney is calling on leaders and lawmakers to find the funding to process what he calls a backlog of untested rape kits in Duval County.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there is no backlog, because the untested kits weren’t needed in cases where the victim was unwilling to prosecute, or when they had a confession from an identified suspect.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Sunday night dozens of people gathered in Hemming Park. An African American woman held a sign reading “Say Her Name.” Another woman held a sign saying, “I’m white and I get it.”

They were at a vigil for Sandra Bland, an African American woman arrested in Texas during a routine traffic stop, that quickly escalated.     

A video of the stop went viral, causing many to question the way the officer treated Bland and then why she was found dead in her jail cell.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

On Friday the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested one of its own.

Clarence Thomas, a 24-four-year-old JSO Corrections Officer, was arrested Friday and charged with one count of sexual activity with a minor.

Thomas was a part-time football coach at Westside High School at the time of an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Jacksonville Undersheriff Pat Ivey says the 17-year-old victim gave her side of the story on Thursday.

Two Arrested In Theft Of Police Equipment

Jun 1, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tips from citizens helped the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office capture two people who were suspected of stealing equipment and a city car from a task force office on the Northside.

Christopher Dollison, 26 and Jazmine Jarvis, 18 were taken into custody without incident.

rutherford in sheriff uniform
City of Jacksonville

Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford has been a vocal critic of Mayor Alvin Brown and a supporter of his hand-picked successor Mike Williams in the Jacksonville mayor and sheriff's races.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

Public safety has emerged as a major issue in Jacksonville’s super close mayor’s race, with incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown defending his approach to this core function of government, while challenger Lenny Curry has hammered Brown’s administration on the issue of violent crime. A recent school bus shooting incident reinforced the narrative.

In particular, the Curry campaign has pounded the messaging that Brown “cut 147 police officers” from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Peter Haden / WJCT

Wednesday has been proclaimed “Police Memorial Day” in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office held a ceremony to honor the city’s fallen officers.

At the memorial, Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said his agency strives to make a positive difference in the lives of those who are troubled. But they are far too often called upon to bury their own.

Rutherford said, “This year is especially poignant as we change our roll call and add the name of Mark Larson.”

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

A Jacksonville man is in stable condition after being shot by two undercover narcotics detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Wednesday night on Jacksonville’s Westside.

JSO Director Tom Hackney says two officers were stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Fouracre Road and Wilson Boulevard just before 6:30 Wednesday evening when they saw 20-year-old Christopher Green screaming and waving a gun at a group of men.

When the officers pulled over and got out of their car, Green put the gun in his waistband, Hackney says.


Calling himself the most experienced candidate in the race, Republican Mike Williams says the JSO "needs to do more" to reach out to communities in Jacksonville who don't trust or cooperate with the police.

Ken Jefferson for Sheriff

Taking a veiled swipe at the current Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer leadership, Ken Jefferson says that if he's elected sheriff he won't "govern from behind the desk."

"I want to re-introduce the Police Department back to the community," said Jefferson, the Democratic candidate in the race to replace outgoing Sheriff John Rutherford.  

"What I'm finding out from my walks and talks all over the city is that people basically see 'drive-by cops.' There's no interaction."