ByTristan Hardy, First Coast News

A coalition of Jacksonville religious leaders want to have a community discussion about violence in the city.

The group known as ‘ICARE’ (Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment) wants to know how crime is impacting local businesses and schools. They’re inviting the public to get involved in the conversation. ICARE also extended an invitation to Mayor Donna Deegan, Sheriff T.K. Waters and city councilmembers. Their goal is to come up with a solution to reduce violent crime.

Geneva Pittman, a member of ICARE, talked to First Coast News about the upcoming event. She expressed how she and her peers pray for the city every morning, hoping for change.

“We are tired of the violence, it must stop,” Pittman said. “The people say, ‘I don’t go out at night because it’s too dangerous.’ My vision is we can have a safe, productive community again.”

ICARE says Jacksonville has the 23rd highest murder rate of the 75 largest cities in the country. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s crime statistics, there were 120 murders in 2023, only 15 less than in 2022.

The community discussion will take place on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church, located at 742 Arlington Rd North.

View the original story here.