Changes coming at Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

Published on July 17, 2023 at 10:53 am

Change is coming to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff T.K. Waters wants to talk about it.

Waters this week will do something no other sheriff has done in recent years: hold a town hall meeting with the public. The event, scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, is called “Change is Coming: Let’s Talk.”

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]Waters said he will welcome questions from residents about his department’s patrol services.

“It’s all about transparency, right?” Waters told WJCT News. “We want our community to know exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it, and we will be able to show it to them. I think this is the best way to do it — open the doors free for everyone to come.”

This event is free and open to the public. People are encouraged to register at eventbrite. You can find the link here.

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Waters in November announced a major restructuring of the department’s command staff, naming new people to 40-plus positions from head of patrol to director of personnel. He also has made a $600 million request for next year’s budget, about $35 million more than last year and including 80 new officer positions.

As for the town hall, he said he will introduce new public safety initiatives and unveil new boundaries for the city’s current six police zones.

“The newest thing is going to be our districts and the way our patrol districts are formed,” Waters said. “We want people to be able to see that. People are going to know who is riding their districts because we will put their names in there. We will let people really see what’s going on.”

He said there are a few more changes, but he will save it for the town hall meeting. The sheriff said there will be time for questions from the audience after he, department heads and his staff present the department updates.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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