Sheriff wants more money to fight crime

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Chris Robbins - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Following a rash of shootings, Jacksonville's top cop wants more officers to help stop the violence. Monday, Sheriff John Rutherford will ask Mayor Alvin Brown to make it a top priority. 

The sheriff has requested an additional $8 million dollars to hire 40 officers who have been let go in years past.

The sheriff is pointing to the rise in violent crime in the area of Operation Ceasefire.

"The mayor and I are in agreement that public safety is a high priority for the city of Jacksonville, and I think you'll see that in the budget when we finalize it," Rutherford said.

Rutherford has taken every opportunity of late to lobby for more money to put more police officers on the streets as the murder rate escalates. 

This comes as Mayor Alvin Brown is set to unveil his proposed budget to the City Council.

Rutherford said he wants more resources to curb the rise in violent crime.

"When we put resources in, we see crime go down," Rutherford said. "That's why restoring these officers is so important. Right now it's like whack-a-mole. Smash one here then one pops up over there."

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has responded to four shootings involving teenagers just in the last three days. The most recent occurred Sunday morning within a few hours of each other on Hart Street, an area located within Operation Ceasefire. 

Rutherford said in 2011 there were 1,750 officers and at least 50 community service officers. He said it was the lowest crime and murder numbers in 40 years.

"Then we started cutting, and now we see this up-tick in violent crime and murders," Rutherford said.

Rutherford said adding more officers would also restore manpower.

"We are in negotiations and it has been going really well."

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