JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sheriff John Rutherford is one step closer to getting his money back. A City Council finance committee unanimously approved restoring $27 million to the JSO budget today.
Under the measure, the city would restore $20 million to JSO, allowing Sheriff Rutherford to carry over $7 million in savings from this year into the upcoming budget.
Mayor Alvin Brown submitted a budget that called for more than $27 million in unspecified cuts to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Rutherford had asked City Council to restore all funding, or he will have to lay off 381 police officers and eliminate related vehicle and equipment costs. That would add up to about $22.8 million in savings.
Rutherford also said JSO would be forced to close the Community Transition Center, an in-jail drug treatment program that employs 60 corrections officers.
Rutherford said Jacksonville's drop in violent crime is creeping back up after what he calls "drastic budget cuts" in recent years.
"This is a tale of two cities," he said.
The measure will have to be approved by the full Jacksonville City Council.