JSO’s $557M budget proposal includes more money for dispatchers, corrections officers

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared new details about its massive budget on Thursday and where your tax dollars could be going.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared new details about its massive budget on Thursday and where your tax dollars could be going.

The budget makes up a lion’s share of the city’s $1.5 billion budget as this year the department is asking for over $557 million, a $37 million increase over last year.

On Thursday, city council members had a chance to question interim Sheriff Pat Ivey about the budget.

While there is no call for new police officers, there is a call for more police dispatchers and corrections officers.

Sheriff Ivey stressed there are huge vacancies in both areas and the jobs are hard to fill because employees are finding they can make more money doing the same thing elsewhere.

One concern several council members asked about is the fact that corrections will take on more responsibility and handle all the monitoring of inmates who are released on ankle monitors. A private company is doing much of that work now but it will all go to JSO soon. Council members questioned how that would work, but Ivey said that won’t be a problem.

RELATED: JSO provides update on computer issues, says police response times not impacted

Another question to Ivey was about the weekend’s computer problems after an attempted intrusion on city computers causing JSO to take precautions. JSO said it won’t impact the budget and it has taken steps to make IT improvements in the past.

News4JAX asked Ivey about that and about what really happened last weekend and he said things are back to normal and no additional hardening was needed.

“We have been having meetings with the FBI for over a year and we had developed a plan that in the event that anything like this happen,” Ivey said. “Since Saturday they were with us every step of the way. They are a great federal partner. They don’t make a decision for us but every step that we took, they would weigh in on and say they believe we were taking the right steps to conclude where we turned everything back on.”

“We had gotten to the point where domestic and foreign, primarily foreign, the larger number, we would have tens of thousands of attempts every month. So if your system is inadequate you would probably get exposed at some point. It doesn’t mean that it could never happen but we have to stay one step ahead of it.”

Computers and IT are always a budget concern, not just for JSO but for the entire city and they are always suggesting improvements.

Council members will vote on the budget next month.

About the Author:

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