John Rutherford has lived in our community since 1958. Educated at Florida Junior College and Florida State University, John heard the call to serve his community at an early age. Beginning his law enforcement career as a patrolman at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 1974, he rose through the ranks and gained more responsibilities and leadership experience, especially when John served as Director of Corrections.
Becoming Jacksonville’s Sheriff in 2003, John managed nearly a half-billion dollar budget and oversaw over 3,200 employees. John ran the Sheriff’s Office like a business, operating under a bottom-up, cost-efficient “lean management” system. As Sheriff, John tackled one of our area’s toughest problems: crime. Because of his leadership, in 2011, crime in Jacksonville was at a 40-year low for violent crime.
John reduced crime through “Community Problem Solving.” He spearheaded initiatives to bring our community together, hired more police officers, and used intelligence-led policing. One such community program was Jacksonville Journey. It put more cops on the streets, and helped keep our neighborhoods safe. Another initiative was ShAdCo, the Sheriff’s Advisory Council. That brought police officers and civilians together to talk about neighborhood problems, and solve and prevent crimes. When John became Sheriff, ShAdCo had 600 members. After his service, the group had 3,000 members.
Moreover, John tackled another persistent problem in Jacksonville: mental health issues. Working with the Department of Children and Families and Florida Partners in Crisis, John laid out a plan to curb the recidivism rates of the mentally ill and provide them with necessary treatment options.
John served as the Chair of the Florida Sheriff’s Association, where he gained critical legislative experience, protected our constitutional rights, and made sure the Legislature passed crime-reducing laws.
Jacksonville’s 40-year low in violent crime and crime-reducing efforts were testaments not just to good law enforcement, but to a community that came together to improve its neighborhoods.
In addition to serving as Jacksonville’s Top Cop, John is a proud husband, devoted father of two, and grandfather of six.
Now, John is ready to take up a new challenge: to represent us and our interests in Washington. This is just a natural extension of John’s commitment to our community.
Simply put, Washington is too big and does too little. But luckily for us, John is a results-oriented community leader with the right experience, the right message, and the right priorities to fight for us, solve our nation’s issues, and get results.