JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sheriff T.K. Waters is hosting a town hall Wednesday to explain how he plans to spend the nearly $600 million outlined for his department in the city’s nearly $1.7 billion budget.
City leaders will join Waters to outline how they plan to keep the city safe. The Sheriff wants to hire another 80 officers and focus on areas with high crime.
“Most of our new officers would go on street patrol, like I said we are with our new plan we will be about 200 short and we would put them on the street,” Waters said on June 8, 2023.
Forty of the officers would be paid for through a federal grant and the other forty would be paid for city funding.
News4JAX asked taxpayers what they want addressed when it comes to public safety.
One person said, “Downtown, it seems like the homeless are an issue. It’s a known issue, I don’t even know how you would resolve that. Kudos to the person who figures that one out. Hopefully he has a great plan to put forward.”
Sheriff Waters’ strategy to fighting crimes seems to be working already. According to News4JAX records, there has been a 27% reduction in murders in 2022. So far this year, there’s been a 25% decline.
Aside from crime in the streets, we talked to a parent who wants to see more protection in schools. “Definitely schools, there’s a lot of bullying and stuff and kids are bringing guns to school. There’s a lot of violence out there.”
You could also see a shift in police patrolling your community. Waters plans to change patrol zones to districts, to better utilize resources for the entire city.
The town hall is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The doors open at 6 p.m. and again, you must register to get tickets to attend.