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dgreen

49 murders in 2006 already?

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This is very alarming as I have family in the area. This is ridiculous IMO.

Hope things can change soon.

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That's insane. 49 murders and we're 4 months into the year. Assuming Jacksonville averages 1 murder a day, if that rate continues the city could end 2006 with roughly 275-350 murders. Those murders are most likely gang/drug-related.

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Could be wrong but isn't the current total 73?

Jacksonville = Detriot of the South

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For some reason, criminality thrives in the summer which could explain the recent rash of violence in Florida. I'd be too worried about sweating to death than busting guns.

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For some reason, criminality thrives in the summer which could explain the recent rash of violence in Florida. I'd be too worried about sweating to death than busting guns.

True indeed, the summer months in Florida are harsh and that is only partially do to the weather. The thing with Jax though is that the murders have remained pretty constant throughout the year thus far. However, I could be wrong on that account.

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That's insane. 49 murders and we're 4 months into the year. Assuming Jacksonville averages 1 murder a day, if that rate continues the city could end 2006 with roughly 275-350 murders. Those murders are most likely gang/drug-related.

Naw, I can safely say its not gang related. Most of the murders are isolated events. Jacksonville doesnt have a history of gangs and gang violence. Mostly they are conflict of interest and more or less random acts of violence. Jacksonville doesnt have as much gang activity as other major cities. If there is any gang activity here, it usually has nothing to do with color of clothing, rather its about what neighborhood you rep. But nevertheless what it is, they are still meaningless deaths that I feel are not being addressed appropriately in thi city. It's not hard for a city to develop a stigma for being a murder capital, but its not easy to lose it.

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Yes, its 70+ now.

May be 140 by the end of year at this rate.

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I think what ya'll are looking at is the number of HOMICIDES in Jacksonville this year...but a homicide is not necessarily a murder.....a murder is the killing of a person with the intent to kill the person...a homicide is the killing of a person, but not necessarily with the intent to kill the person...for example, if a man who is getting robbed shoots and kills the intruder, it would be a homicide, but not a murder. so the actual murder rate is not a high as the rates you are looking at right now, but it is still pretty high. but that's what you get when a city grows.

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I think what ya'll are looking at is the number of HOMICIDES in Jacksonville this year...but a homicide is not necessarily a murder.....a murder is the killing of a person with the intent to kill the person...a homicide is the killing of a person, but not necessarily with the intent to kill the person...for example, if a man who is getting robbed shoots and kills the intruder, it would be a homicide, but not a murder. so the actual murder rate is not a high as the rates you are looking at right now, but it is still pretty high. but that's what you get when a city grows.

about over 90% of these murders are drug related cats are fighting over drug spots.

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For the seventh year in a row, Duval County ranks No. 1 in a category that no one wants to lead: murder rate.

And our closest challengers aren't even close.

Duval County's rate of 11 murders per 100,000 people is the only one in double digits among large counties, the latest Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics indicate.

Those next in line - Orange and Miami-Dade - are at 7 per 100,000 people.

And, while we're only seven months into this year, Duval is already a good bet to repeat as Florida's murder capital for 2006.

In Jacksonville, where nearly all Duval murders happen, 70 had occurred by Friday compared to 38 for the same time last year.

The violence has drawn national and statewide attention in recent months. Both President Bush and his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, expressed concerns about it this year.

Results and recommendations from a four-month study on murder and violence by the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. will be outlined in detail later this month.

Much work lies ahead in addressing this problem.

Put in perspective

Given the latest statistics and attention to the issue, it could be inviting to assume that murder and crime are worse than they've ever been in our community.

But it isn't so. In fact, there's some good news to be found in county crime statistics.

Murder and violence in Duval have dropped dramatically since 1991 - even though nearly 180,000 more people now call the county home.

Statistics show Duval's per capita violent crime rate is less than half of what it was then. Fueled by a crack cocaine epidemic, murders peaked at 179 in 1991 - or 83 higher than in the more populated Duval of last year.

Murders last year decreased by nine after three years of increases. That drop, however, is looking like an anomaly given this year's spike.

Duval's overall crime rate also declined slightly last year. But it is still Florida's second highest, just behind Miami-Dade, FDLE statistics show.

Sheriff John Rutherford acknowledges the murder problems but insists the city is safer now than five years ago. Violent crime in Jacksonville fell by about 11 percent from 2000 to 2005, he notes.

However, many who live in poor neighborhoods where violence is a constant would no doubt offer a different view.

It is also troubling that the decreases of recent years have not kept pace with those overall in Florida, including last year.

As with any county, some neighborhoods have more crime problems than others, and anyone can be a victim if in the wrong place at the wrong time. Roughly three of every four murders involve people who know each other.

Much of Duval County is a safe place to be most of the time.

Confronting a chronic problem

The murder and crime drops since 1991 are notable. But they are overshadowed by the depth and duration of our problems compared to the rest of Florida.

Duval's murder rate has now led the state 13 of the last 18 years and finished second behind Miami-Dade the other years.

Duval finishes second in Florida behind Miami-Dade in the actual number of murders. But Duval has a higher murder rate because Miami-Dade has nearly three times more people.

Broward (Fort Lauderdale), Hillsborough (Tampa), Orange (Orlando), Pinellas (St. Petersburg) and Palm Beach counties all fare better in the murder category than Duval, despite having larger populations.

Until this newspaper delved more deeply into the statistics last year, the chronic nature of our problems escaped public attention, largely because of Jacksonville's status as a consolidated city-county government. Sheriff's officials routinely compared Jacksonville with other cities, which tends to place the city in a more favorable light.

But nine out of every 10 murders in Duval happen in Jacksonville, and Jacksonville is more of a county than a city.

Regardless, people are needlessly dying. Families and neighborhoods are suffering. Taxpayers are spending more for police, jail and prosecutions than should be necessary.

Murder is only a symptom of larger violence problems involving many factors, including poverty, education and even race.

Jacksonville has the highest African-American population in Florida, and some predominately black neighborhoods have not been able to shake a cycle of violence.

Some people would prefer to sidestep these issues.

But to be the community we can be, we must reverse the numbers.

The entire community is affected, and the entire community must be engaged in securing solutions.

We are known nationally as an up-and-coming hotspot. Our beaches, warm winters and business-friendly climate are just some of the features that make Duval an attractive place to be.

Yet, 11 percent of Florida's murders in 2005 - or one out of every 10 - happened in Duval, even though it has about 5 percent of the state's population.

Duval's dirty little secret is in the open.

We can't gloss over our crime issues. Nor can we run from them any longer.

MURDER RATE

Duval still No. 1, unfortunately

Here are 2005 rates (per 100,000 population) for Florida counties of more than 500,000 people:

COUNTY MURDERS POPULATION RATE

Duval 96 861,150 11.14

Orange 74 1,043,437 7.09

Miami-Dade 171 2,422,075 7.06

Lee 33 549,442 6.0

Palm Beach 69 1,265,900 5.45

Pinellas 50 947,744 5.27

Hillsborough 47 1,131,546 4.15

Broward 63 1,740,987 3.61

Polk 19 541,840 3.5

Brevard 18 531,970 3.38

Notes: Only four of the counties above showed a decline in actual murders from 2004 to 2005. Duval: 105 to 96; Miami-Dade: 218 to 171; Palm Beach: 89 to 69; and Hillsborough: 58 to 47.

Source: Florida Department of Law Enforcement

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Think they are 80+ now.

In Jacksonville, where nearly all Duval murders happen, 70 had occurred by Friday compared to 38 for the same time last year

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Very sad. Crime isn't just a black problem or a white problem, or a Miami problem, or a Jax problems, it's a FLORIDA problem!! I hope people can come together to fight it and for our so called leader to stand up and address the causes.

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