Getting to know Assistant Chief Bobby L. Deal

Recently, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Bobby L. Deal spoke to a group of San Marco-area residents about crime and crime prevention in the neighborhood. It is not the first time Deal has been a presence in the community – he is highly regarded for meeting with neighborhood groups and sharing his experiences with crime in Zone 3.
While Deal lives on the Northside, he has strong ties to Zone 3 both professionally and personally and tells The Resident “there’s nowhere I’d rather work.” Get to know this 34-year veteran of the force and a little more about Zone 3 – the area that includes San Marco and San Jose. He shares valuable information about what residents can do to better safeguard their property and thwart additional crime.

Name: Bobby L. Deal
Title/Rank: Assistant Chief;
Zone 3 Commander

What are the boundaries of Zone 3?
Zone 3 is the southeastern portion of Duval County. It includes everything east of the St. John’s River, south of Beach Blvd., west of the Atlantic Ocean, and north of the St. John’s County line. It includes the communities of Mandarin, San Marco, Southside, and San Pablo, just to mention a few. It is actually larger in population and geography than the cities of Lakeland and Tallahassee, just as a reference.

How many officers are under your leadership in Zone 3?
Approximately 200 sworn officers, including the supervisory cadre.

What do you want the community to know about the Zone 3 officers?
That they are among the finest men and women our community has to offer. They are a dedicated group of highly trained professionals that chose this career out of a strong desire to make a difference by having a positive impact on this community. For them, it is not just a job but also a way of life. I’m sure that the same can be said about all of JSO, but as the Zone 3 Commander, I get to see our officers’ amazing accomplishments on a daily basis, and I’m extremely proud to lead this group of loyal
public servants.

What should residents beware of these days in terms of recent criminal activity?
To begin with, they should know that they have a much lesser chance of becoming a victim than they have had since the early 1970s. That being said, we always want to address the “fear of crime” as well as the crime itself. Therefore, our citizens should be careful to safeguard their sensitive information to prevent identity theft, and take basic precautions of locking their doors, not leaving valuables in their vehicles, and maintaining proper lighting.

Ideally, how can residents help you and your officers keep the neighborhood safe?
The biggest thing they can do, beyond securing their own property through basic crime prevention steps, is to be vigilant and look out for each other. Don’t hesitate to report something suspicious or out of place. What might seem small at the time could actually be a key piece of information we need to solve a bigger problem. With a million people in this city and only 1,600 police officers, we recognize that we can only be successful by working in partnership with our residents. We need their help.

What is ShAdCo and how can residents get involved?
ShAdCo stands for the “Sheriff’s Advisory Council”. It is a collection of community groups that each represents a specific geographic patrol sector (we have three of them in Zone 3, referred to as Golf, Hotel, and India). They are an outstanding group of law abiding citizens that want to get involved in their community and make a difference, by acting as the eyes and ears of law enforcement. They also help us to prioritize our workload by letting us know what is important to their community. They have monthly meetings, which are open to the public. Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to attend a meeting or contact the Zone 3 Substation for additional information.

Favorite words of wisdom?
We should all strive to leave behind a legacy that we would be proud for our children to see. We should execute our duties with this simple concept in mind; what would we like for people to say about us to our children during a future meeting.

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