JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — City agencies are submitting their proposed budgets for the upcoming year and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for an increase in their budget for the upcoming year.
The budget for 2019-2020 shows JSO’s budget was $481,594,59. The proposed budget for the upcoming year is $487,789,855. This is $6.1 million more than the previous year.
The increase would be in the Departments of Corrections, Investigations and Homeland Security, Patrol and Enforcement, Personnel and Professional Standards. There is also a funding request for IT capital equipment for $686,726.
The main increases in the departments are focused on salaries and pension costs. Each department besides the Executive Office of the Sheriff, saw an increase in both salaries and pensions.
Salaries and pensions make up for 72.6 percent of the entire proposed JSO Budget.
There are currently 1,601 sworn police officers hired by JSO. This does not include civilian positions or corrections officers.
Local activists protested Saturday, demanding the budget be reduced.
“For the past few weeks, thousands have hit the streets demanding change and accountability from JSO and they’ve been met with more of the same”, said Hakeem Balogun, an organizer with the Jacksonville Community Action Committee. “Instead of JSO getting a budget increase during a time of such economic insecurity and siphoning needed resources from the black community, a large portion of their budget should be reinvested back into the community, to deal with poverty and inequality.”
The Jacksonville Community Action Committee is calling for the city to cap JSO’s budget at 20 percent, rather than the current 40 percent, of the city’s total budget.