JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A car crash, already a headache, is about to become that much more pain in Duval County. Get in an accident after the new budget is in place and you could be waiting much longer for help to arrive.
"During peak times you may increase your time 10 to 15 minutes," said Captain Keith Gaston with the Florida Highway Patrol. When the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Community Service Officer program disappears in the next budget cycle, the crashes they used to handle will now have to be handled by The Florida Highway Patrol.
That will nearly double FHP's investigations in Duval County. Gaston says FHP does not have enough troopers to handle the work load.
"We are going to get to a saturation point at certain peak times that there is no trooper available and then the sheriff's office will help us with those."
Their solution? "Somebody's going to have to wait to have their crash investigated so we'll take the highest priority calls first. The ones with injuries and then the other calls we'll get to as soon as we possibly can," said Gaston.
That's not too promising for those waiting at the scene of an accident for help. FHP says they'll learn a lot more about how they'll handle the problem when they are forced to deal with it in a few months.