Mon, Jun 17, 2024
Jacksonville sheriff asks city for $33 million more in JSO funding, 40 more officers as city grows

Jacksonville sheriff asks city for $33 million more in JSO funding, 40 more officers as city grows

  • PublishedJune 6, 2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Violent crime in Jacksonville has dropped this year compared to the same time frame last year, but the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for millions more to help keep you safe.

The city is working on next year’s budget to determine how to spend your tax dollars, and the sheriff’s office gets the biggest cut. 

Next year’s budget proposal, presented by Sheriff T.K. Waters on Thursday, calls for 40 more officers and $630 million, about $33 million more than last year.

What’s it going toward?

Well, a portion of it is going to help move the JSO headquarters over to the Riverside area, but there will be other changes as well.

Jacksonville resident Jaisun Lundy agrees more police is good, but added that JSO needs to focus more on community policing and working with people, not against them.

“One, your job is to protect. So if your job is to protect, don’t abuse the badge,” Lundy said.

Waters said the increase in the budget is tied to increased costs.

“From the operation standpoint, we have a potential move to Florida Blue coming up. That’s part of it. Our Homeland Security Division is already going to move. That’s another part of it. Look, we were working on 40 new police officers. Listen, I know that’s not pleasant for some people to hear. But our city is growing, it’s growing at a rapid rate, and we have to grow with it,” Waters said.

The sheriff is making cuts to his executive staff, from 44 positions to 28, and because of hiring problems, JSO plans to have 11 fewer corrections officers.

If approved, the city will have more officers on the street and more civilian staff. This is just a start to the budget process but one city councilman on hand Thursday, Republican Nick Howland, said things look good.

“I’m excited to see the sheriff argue for 40 more sworn officers in the budget. That’s something that city council will look upon favorably,” Howland said.

Mayor Donna Deegan is putting together a budget that will be presented next month and the council will vote on it in September.

Copyright 2024 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

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