City Near Bottom Of Safest Cities List
Sheriff Says Neighborhood Walks, Other Factors Have Reduced Crime
POSTED: Monday, November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 10:32 pm EST November 2, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Don Butler said keeping the city's streets safe is a collaborative effort between the people and the police.
"They need us and we need them," Butler said.
Butler is part of the Arlington East Neighborhood Association, and Monday night, the group hit the streets with Sheriff John Rutherford and officers to spread the word that crime in their neighborhood won't be tolerated.
Butler said the effort is working.
"It's safer now than it was a year ago, or two years ago," Butler said. "Much safer in the last nine months."
But Forbes Magazine puts Jacksonville at the bottom of their list of America's safest cities.
Video: Sheriff Says Crime Rate Is Lower
The magazine used a number of statistics to rank the cities, including workplace deaths, traffic deaths, risk of natural disasters, and violent crime rates from the 40 largest metropolitan areas. The River City ranked 39th behind major cities like New York, Cleveland and even Detroit.
Ironically, in June, the sheriff compared Jacksonville to Detroit while talking to the City Council.
"We are on the road to becoming the next Detroit," Rutherford said at the time. "I don't want to go down that road."
According to Forbes, maybe Jacksonville does.
Detroit ranked 12th on the list, 27 cities safer than Jacksonville. The sheriff said he doesn't buy it.
"But I hardly think Detroit is safer that Jacksonville, you know," Rutherford said. "You got to look at the numbers."
Rutherford said crime in Jacksonville is down by 11 percent. He said violent crime is down 15 percent in almost the last 20 years.
The sheriff said violent crime is down drastically, and that includes things like murder, rape and armed robbery.
He believes a lot of that has to do with events like Monday night's neighborhood walk. He said people in Jacksonville care about the city and won't tolerate high crime.
"I've said three things that we absolutely have to have," Rutherford said. "More boots on the street, massive community support and aggressive prosecution with (state attorney) Angela Corey."
For a complete list of the safest cities rankings, go to Forbes Magazine's Web site.