Orange County launches community crime survey to gain insight from residents on solutions, strategies to prevent gun violence

In the span of three weeks this year, Orange County experienced at least seven shootings involving children 17 and younger. Two shootings resulted in fatalities, including 3-year-old Daquane James Felix Jr.

According to law enforcement, many of these shootings were tied to gang violence.

As a result, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, along with county, city, community and faith based leaders created the citizens safety task force, charged with reducing and preventing gun violence and violent crimes in the community.

READ: Nearly 200 arrests made, 1,300 guns confiscated as Orange County, Orlando work to crack down on gang violence

The task force launched a community crime survey to gain insight from residents on solutions and strategies to prevent and reduce gun violence and violent crime.

Some of the questions asked were “how serious is the level of violent crime in your community,” “How safe do you feel in your community,” and “How would you rate the level of police protection in your community?”

“From a government perspective, community leaders, faith leaders, we can have conversations all day, but if the community that we are charged with making a difference if that community is not engaged all the work that we are doing is all going to be for not,” said Rod Love, co-chair of the citizens safety task force.

READ: ‘Gang feuds’ tied to murders in Orange and Osceola counties, deputies say

Love said reducing crime starts with the community.

“If something takes place in the community and you have 0 people in the community that see it why is nobody speaking up,” he said.

He said law enforcement also needs to be held accountable.

READ: Orange County mayor launches task force to tackle recent gang violence in Pine Hills

“We have to also have the conversation with law enforcement and our other stakeholders,” he said. “Are you being accountable for the actions that’s taking place in your agency? And if you’re not, how do you expect the community to step forward and be something that you are not.”

The online survey consists of 14 questions and is available in English, Spanish and Creole.

Click here to take the survey.

To request a paper document, contact Carol Burkett at citizenssafety@ocfl.net

Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.