Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Listens to Citizens' Suggestions

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Listens to Citizens' Suggestions

Article excerpt

They came not to complain Tuesday, but to suggest.

When Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover finished his hour-long meeting with the Sheriff's Office Advisory Council for Mandarin, he heard not complaints about crime problems, but suggestions as to how the councils and hurricane evacuations can be improved.

One came from advisory council vice chairman Pat Archuleta, who said the appointed groups -- made up of everyone from young parents to business members and retirees working directly with police officers -- need more teenage members.

"It is important to have a few young students as members, so you might be able to get some input as to what goes on at schools or where they hang out," he said.

Glover said that was an excellent idea, and that some student government members already were on some of the advisory councils.

"Our objective was to have a cross-section of representation," he said.

Fifteen members of the Police Zone 3 council met with Glover and other police officials at the Mandarin Community Club, 12447 Mandarin Road. Glover formed 17 advisory councils about three years ago to give residents a monthly forum to communicate with police about neighborhood problems.

Mandarin members meet at least once a month with Zone 3 District Chief Justin Hill and his officers at the substation, 7100 Powers Ave., and ride with officers as observers to learn more about police procedures.

Before the meeting, the audience received statistics showing overall crime in Mandarin's police sector went down 9.2 percent between January and August, compared to the same period in 1998.

That sector is bordered by Baymeadows Road to the north, Interstate 95 to the east and Julington Creek and the St. Johns River to the south and west.

The sheriff told the audience that police advisory councils help police "put out fires before they become a blaze" by telling them about neighborhood problems. He also praised the Mandarin advisory committee, saying it had become a model to the other advisory councils in the city's police zones.

Then he took questions. …

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