Sheriff makes another budget plea

Rutherford to discuss JSO budget Friday with city finance committee

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sheriff John Rutherford made another plea Thursday regarding the state of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office budget.

The sheriff is expected to go before the city finance committee Friday to discuss the budget and its possible effects.

Rutherford said he believes council members are finally listening. He said he will be fighting to keep the money he saved by laying off officers and cutting pay last year.

On Friday, he will tell council members again that if they give him that money -- about $10 million -- he won't have to let an additional 95 officers go this year and won't have to close a community transitions center, which houses a drug treatment center.

The sheriff believes this will pass but has a message for the mayor.

"I think the message that needs to go with the passage of this bill is the mayor's pension fund," Rutherford said. "You got a year now to fix it, because if you don't, public safety in this community is in jeopardy, and it needs to be fixed."

The sheriff says no matter what happens, he will still let 62 community service officers go next week and will lay off 154 civilian employees, including dispatchers and others in the department.

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