Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office asking for $37 million more than last year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Undersheriff Pat Ivey, who will become Sheriff on Saturday, told News4JAX what he thinks it will cost to try and keep our streets safe. He is asking for more than $540 million to do the job. That’s $37 million more than last year.

Undersheriff Ivey said more money is needed because costs have gone up along with contracts.

He did say the money will not go to hiring more officers. “We just got a COPS grant and we are going into year three of the increase,” Ivey said.

One area seeing a big cost increase is the jail. There is a shortage of correction officers and because of that -- costs have skyrocketed.

“We’re asking for the community’s help,” Ivey said. “Hey, if you get applicants, bring them to us. We would love to fill those positions. What has happened is a cause and effect -- you have vacancies, you have to pay overtime to the others.”

The sheriff’s office is also looking at upgrading technology that will allow them to investigate cell phones.

“The more password-protected they are, the more difficult it is for police to get into them, looking for information legally,” Ivey said. They are asking for $1.7 million to upgrade technology.

“It will help us whenever one is password-protected, fingerprint protected, face recognition protected, hopefully, this will help us,” Ivey said. “Police just don’t take cellphones and go into them. We have legal steps and processes that we must follow. This will allow us once we’ve obtained the permission to enter a device it will assist us in those investigations.”

Now all of this is a wish list of sorts, and it’s something the mayor will review before he presents it in his budget this July.

A reminder: Sheriff Mike Williams’ last day is Friday and Ivey takes over on Saturday. He will hold that spot until another sheriff is elected either in August or if there is a run-off next spring.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.