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Your Right Your Vote: Race for Jacksonville Sheriff

5:53 PM, Mar 21, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Sheriff Candidate Soren Brockdorf Talks About JSO Paycuts

Video: Sheriff Candidate Ken Jefferson Talks About JSO Paycuts

Video: Race for Jacksonville Sheriff

  • Sheriff Candidate- Sheriff John Rutherford
  • Sheriff Candidate- Ken Jefferson
  • Sheriff Candidate- Soren Brockdorf

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three candidates are on the ballot for sheriff, including incumbent Sheriff John Rutherford who is seeking a third term.

Rutherford grew up in Jacksonville and has worked for JSO for 36 years. He said the numbers show his success: "The lowest crime numbers this city has seen since 1983 and that is significant."

His challenger, Ken Jefferson, is a Jacksonville native. He retired from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office after 24 years, where he held various titles including patrol officer, detective and public information officer.

"I retired for the purpose of running for office, simply because I think I have a better touch with the community," said Jefferson.

Candidate Soren Brockdorf is a certified public accountant who graduated from the police academy five years ago. He then worked two years for JSO and spent almost a year with the Clay County Sheriff's Office. 

"Although, my tenure there was short, I spent all the time asking police officers what they'd change, what needs to be better, always looking at the processes," said Brockdorf. 

As the newcomer, Soren said he's not threatened by Rutherford's or Jefferson's experience. They've been integrated too long into the JSO system, which he said is failing.

"It's horrible. It's at least 20 to 30 years behind where it needs to be," he said, describing JSO's system. 

All three candidates are focusing on reducing the crime rate, but their methods vary.

"I call it the 21st century philosophy of policing, because it's more than community policing. Community policing is about building relationships," said Rutherford. "I don't want to just build relationships I want to do things through those relationships and solve community problems."

"The first thing we want to do is rebuild the trust between the community and the sheriff's office... I'll have a specially marked car where I will be out as a sheriff of this great city. Riding the beat. Meeting with the folks," said Jefferson. 

"The budget needs to be reduced to make our officers more effective and more often," said Brockdorf.

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