JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown is set to deliver his budget on Monday and a battle is brewing with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has about 1,600 police officers and a total of more than 3,000 employees. Mayor Alvin Brown is asking JSO to take a $29 million hit, which could result in taking some officers off the streets.
"I will not lay anyone off," said Sheriff John Rutherford. "They need to figure out another option."
JSO has cut 300 positions in the last 3 years, not to mention Duval County's murder rate has been on the incline. The murder rate was at 76 in 2011 and 94 in 2012. Action News asked Mayor Alvin Brown if it's fair to ask JSO to cut more.
"We got a great working relationship with the sheriff. We're going to do everything we can with him, but what he's also saying is look we have a retirement reform plan that will help solve our financial challenges," said Mayor Brown.
That Sheriff Rutherford agrees with, but still says the mayor should reconsider raising taxes, pointing to the mayor's promise to balance the budget without instituting new taxes.
"I think that's the risk you run when you make promises like that. I'm not going to raise taxes," said Sheriff Rutherford.
It's a promise Mayor Brown says he won't break.
"The key is continue to grow the economy, create jobs and work with the private sector because small business entrepreneurs cannot take a tax increase," he said.
The city has until the end of September to come up with a final plan for the budget.