$37M budget increase request for JSO won’t mean more officers on streets, interim sheriff says

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is presenting his budget proposal to City Council. It's expected to include millions of dollars more for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, but it won't mean more officers on the streets.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is a shortage of corrections officers at the Duval County jail, which has led to costs increases.

He’s asking for $100 million toward downtown revitalization projects, including the Landing, Met Park and baseball grounds, $108 million would go to parks around the city, including replacing equipment at 60 playgrounds.

The mayor said that is necessary because he says public parks are seeing nearly 20,000 more visitors each year.

RELATED: Mayor Curry presents $1.5B budget proposal to Jacksonville City Council

He is also looking for funding for Jacksonville’s first new library since 2006.

As far as public safety, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for $37 million more than it did last year. Interim Sheriff Pat Ivey said that an increase would not mean more officers on the streets, but would cover costs at the Duval County jail.

Ivey also hopes for a $1.7 million investment in technology upgrades, including a better way to curb the number of cellphones smuggled into the jail.

“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.”

There is a shortage of corrections officers at the Duval County jail, which has led to costs increases.

The overall budget for JSO would be $540 million if approved.

“We’re asking for the community 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, so you have to pay overtime to the others.”

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