Sheriff Williams wants extra $26M for 20 more Jacksonville officers

Money would also fund crime fighting tools, initiatives

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Jacksonville leaders work to approve a new budget for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the city's top cop is asking for an increase.

Sheriff Mike Williams met with Mayor Lenny Curry's staff Wednesday. He talked about the deadly shooting Tuesday night on Town Center Parkway, saying it shows all parts of the city are vulnerable to violence.

Over the past year, Williams has implemented new crime-fighting tools, including gunfire detection systems and bullet-tracing technology. Now, he wants to continue what he started by hiring more officers.

Williams wants $26M extra for the upcoming budget, the majority of which he said will help pay for 20 more police officers. The proposed budget is $438 million total.

Body cameras are again included in the next budget. The pilot program has finished and all officers should have body cameras by the end of 2018.

DOCUMENTS | Sheriff's budget proposal

"We are adding some things for the body cam program that will roll out this year," Williams said. "We were fortunate enough to get a DOJ grant for $4 million."

A new communications center will be opening at Cecil Commerce Center, which will be a backup 911 call center. The Sheriff's Office also plans to help the school board train school guardians.

"They have a full-time mission of protecting the schools from outside threats," Williams said. "Legislation dictates that we train those to a certain level and we're up and ready to do that."

Williams has other things he would like to see happen, including the addition of cruisers and the replacement of some weapons. Those are things the mayor might consider when he presents his budget in July.

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