Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Visits Shops; Trip Was Sheriff's 388th Walk

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Glover Visits Shops; Trip Was Sheriff's 388th Walk

Article excerpt

Byline: Sandy Strickland, Staff writer

Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover strode past perfume counters, jewelry displays and clearance racks filled with men's coats and women's dresses.

He zipped through Starbucks, seemingly oblivious to the java aroma.

He went in a mattress store and out again without testing the box springs.

But Glover wasn't at Roosevelt Square on Roosevelt Boulevard to shop. He was a man on a mission. Glover, who has been walking a neighborhood beat since becoming sheriff in 1995, was making his 388th walk Tuesday.

He shook hands with salesclerks and customers, asked if they had any crime concerns and signed copies of the annual police report.

Most told him they had no problems but thanked him for asking.

"OK, but now's your chance," Glover told several clerks. "I don't want you to think of something later that you wished you'd told me."

At Publix, Glover and the eight or so officers accompanying him got quizzical glances from some shoppers. Outside another store, a man teasingly held up his hands and leaned against his car.

An elderly couple stopped Glover on the sidewalk to tell him they had been high school sweethearts but married others. When their spouses died, the man looked the woman up, and they eloped 12 years ago.

"We had to," the man told Glover with a tongue-in-cheek grin. "We aren't young anymore."

Glover was visiting Roosevelt Square to recognize the strong partnership that police have forged with the business community, said Assistant Police Chief George Bennett.

"They have been very supportive," said Bennett, who oversees Zone 4 on the Westside. "There are nine stop stations in the zone, all provided by the business community. This is just an effort to show them that the sheriff is out there and to find out if they are getting a good service."

A year or so ago, Roosevelt Square merchants started a watch involving about 35 businesses. If a store is the victim of a credit card fraud or a shoplifter, for instance, the watch representative can call neighboring businesses to put them on alert. …

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