Twenty five BBUUC members and friends attended the ICARE Rally on Zoom on Monday, March 22. The agenda included Breakout Rooms where we each spent 10 minutes getting to know three or four Network Members from other ICARE congregations. We heard speakers talk about all of the issues ICARE will be addressing with public officials at the Nehemiah Action Assembly on April 19. Those issues are:
- A request to State Attorney Nelson to implement an Adult Civil Citation program as provided in a Florida law ICARE helped pass two years ago. Most crucially, this would change the practice of arresting persons for driving with a suspended license when the reason for that suspension is failure to pay a fine or fee. An Adult Civil Citation program would provide a way for individuals to be made whole without spending time in jail, adding court costs and interest to what they already owe, losing time at work and possible losing a job. Last year over 7,000 arrests were made in Duval County for driving without a license. The typical fine or fee not paid can be as low as $65 for a pedestrian violation.
- A request to Sheriff Williams to reinforce Crisis Intervention Team training in a way that will enable JSO officers who are available any time of day or night to respond appropriately when families call reporting that a loved one who has PTSD or a mental illness is out of control. Too often at present, the arriving officer interprets psychotic behavior as resisting arrest and treats the person violently. In the case of one ICARE family, that meant using a choke hold on a veteran who had PTSD, killing him. In other cases, it simply fills the jail with people who really need some other kind of help.
- A request to Sheriff Williams and possibly to Mayor Curry to expand organized efforts to stop revenge violence in Jacksonville. This requires partnerships between JSO and the community that involve focus, balance, and fairness. Focus on violence that results in murder. This kind of violence tends to happen in relatively small areas and between small groups of people who know each other. Balance between enforcement and prevention. The carrot and the stick. Prevention means offering targeted help to individuals prone to violence. Individuals need to know that if they continue in the path of violence, enforcement will be swift and sure. Fairness is essential. Without it, trust cannot be built.
To gain “yes” answers from public officials for what we are asking, we need all the PEOPLE POWER we can muster at the Nehemiah Action Assembly on Zoom on April 19, 6:45 PM. Put it on your calendar now!!!
You Can Register HERE: https://bbuuc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/ActionFlyer.pdf
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