Mayor Lenny Curry signs $1.1 billion budget at police training center

40 new officers, 40 new community service officers in city's new budget

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, City Council President Greg Anderson and other city officials gathered Wednesday at Florida State College at Jacksonville's police training center for a ceremony to sign a $1.1 billion city budget that includes money to hire 40 new police officers and 40 community service officers.

"The men and women that are working every day are stretched really thin," Curry said. "They were cut in recent years, so beginning to restore that will give them more time, time to get out and build relationships in the community."

Sheriff Mike Williams and Council President Greg Anderson joined Curry and other city officials at the signing ceremony at the facility that will graduate the officers who will soon be on Jacksonville's streets.

Williams called the return of the CSOs a force multiplier for the Sheriff's Office and said said they will work as quickly as possible to get the new, qualified officers on the job.

"It's important to get them out there. It's important to get them out there well trained, and we are going to do that," Williams said.

In his remarks Wednesday, Curry also mentioned other priorities of his campaign that will become a reality with funding from this budget. This includes addressing infrastructure problems, especially the rebuilding of Liberty Street and Coastline Drive.

"There was no plan in place when I took office, but what's important to know about Liberty Street and the Drive in front of there, that is symbolic of the neglect the city has experienced for the last four years," Curry said. "I ran to be a change mayor, to get things done. Completing that is symbolic of the infrastructure we are going to be investing in in the years ahead."

Curry said this budget is the first step toward his long-term goals for the city.

MORE ONLINE: Summary of city of Jacksonville's 2015-2015 budget