JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Local officers, laid off by JSO, are wondering when they will be hired back.
Action News has learned there are now some open positions with JSO after other officers retired.
"I'm in a holding pattern, waiting to see what the sheriff's office does," said Brian Holland. Holland would go to work right now, if he could. "Right now, we're trying to get resumes out there as quick as possible," said Holland.
The dad of one and father to be, is a victim of the sheriff's budget cuts. "It was a little confusing. We trained for 12 months, and were ready to go to work," said Holland.
Holland was one of 48 officers laid off after the sheriff's budget was cut by 18 million dollars. Action News has learned since those layoffs, there are new openings. Holland wants one of them. "Get back to serving the community that we were serving," said Holland.
Action News has learned the sheriff won't be hiring. Undersheriff Dwaine Senterfitt told Action News before they can do that, they need to have 40 vacancies, more money in their budget or the union agreeing to take a two percent pay cut.
FOP President Nelson Cuba says that's not the understanding he had. So he's confused. He thought when positions were open, officers would be hired. It's even more worrisome since they're in contract negotiations. "In attempting to be get a deal done with the city, are the officers going to be re-hired, it concerns me now," said Cuba.
For now, this puts Holland and his colleagues in a holding pattern. He wants to work for JSO. "I'm behind the sheriff, whatever decision he makes," said Holland. He also needs to support his family. "That's the most important thing. If I have to seek employment elsewhere that's what I'll do," said Holland.
The vacancies come from officers who were transferred back to patrol after the layoffs. They were already close to retirement. So, they just decided not to stay. Some of those 48 officers who were laid off have already found other jobs in different departments.
The sheriff's office could face even more cuts next year. The sheriff wants to privatize his fleet management, saying that'll save a million dollars. The mayor and city council would have to approve that. If they don't, 34 officers could be laid off in March.