Charles Griggs to replace Lakesha Burton in Deegan administration

Charles Griggs will be the new director of community initiatives charged with helping the city reimagine the Jax Journey, a former crime prevention program, the administration announced Thursday. 

Mayor Donna Deegan created the position upon taking office and initially appointed Lakesha Burton, a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s office assistant chief and candidate for sheriff. Burton resigned in October to care for her husband following a medical emergency. 

Deegan said she looked forward to Griggs stepping into the “critical role.”

“He brings vast knowledge and experience in both city government and the Jacksonville Journey,” Deegan said in the Thursday statement. “Relaunching this vital program is a top priority of our administration and it will be in good hands with Charles at the helm.” 

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Griggs worked with the former Jacksonville Journey Oversight Committee before the program was disbanded in 2017. Deegan’s transition teams discussed the reinvention of the program and ultimately recommended the city establish a Jacksonville Journey Forward program and Oversight Committee. 

In his role, Griggs will promote the initiatives “focused on a comprehensive approach to public safety centered around crime prevention and intervention” and provide oversight to the city’s related current programs. 

He previously worked as president of Eighth & Whitner Group LLC and director of communications and community engagement for the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. He is a board member of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and previously served on the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission and Arts in Public Places Commission.

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