Jacksonville, FL — The City of Jacksonville is looking at overhauling its network of cameras- a move the Mayor wants to set aside millions of dollars to achieve.
The $1.2 billion City budget proposal from Mayor Lenny Curry would budget $3 million in the public buildings allocation for city-wide maintenance, upgrades, and replacement of cameras. The money would be used to implement changes, after a special task force is convened to study the options.
The Mayor’s Office tells WOKV that this Task Force will be charged with doing a comprehensive, city-wide review of all the security cameras in public buildings and facilities, including parks. Task Force members will examine camera types, costs, placement, and more, ultimately making recommendations on what the City should do to make their system more uniform. Having a standardized system means it would be easier to train on camera use, repair and replace parts, troubleshoot problems, and related areas.
The task force would be assigned by the Mayor sometime after the start of the fiscal year, on October 1st. The $3 million proposed budget to implement their recommendations is still pending approval by the Jacksonville City Council, as part of their overall budget review process.
While the City takes a more broad, comprehensive look, they continue to invest in the system that exists. Around $175,000 is proposed in the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services budget for installing cameras and enhanced lighting at City parks. It’s the second year an investment like that is being made, with that department’s budget in this current fiscal year spending even more- around $500,000.
A City Spokesperson declined to specify what park locations the security enhancements are taking place.
WOKV also reported this week that Curry's proposed Capital Improvement Program is budgeting $655,000 in the upcoming fiscal year in security improvements at the Prime Osborn Convention Center and $95,000 in security improvements at the Ritz Theatre & Museum. Those improvements include security surveillance, among other things.
With the comprehensive review poised to take place, WOKV asked the Mayor’s Office why so much is being budgeted in this proposal to invest in the system right now. A Spokesperson says the City needs to ensure its existing systems operate in good condition.
The Jacksonville City Council Finance Committee will review and debate the Mayor’s budget proposal in the coming weeks, and the full Council must pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year, September 31st. WOKV continues to work through the budget proposal to track how your tax dollars are being spent. Stay with us as we learn more.