Eye on Jacksonville has gotten a response, two months after submitting questions to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office via a public records request.

We feel blessed. The Task Force on Open Government, which recently issued its final report, said the police had a backlog of some 35,000 requests out of 80,000 received.

We wanted to find out a little bit about the amount of police work and the number of police officers.

It seemed timely because Mayor Lenny Curry is asking for additional police personnel in his proposed budget for the coming year.

So, to the numbers, which we have supplemented:

2008 2017
*Police calls for service n/a 805,754
*Response time (minutes) n/a 7.63
Crimes 58,241 37,199
*Sworn officers (positions) 1,668 1,770
Budget (millions) $322.4 $408.5

* means the information was provided by the sheriff’s office. n/a means the information was not available

All we can determine from the data we were lucky enough to get from the sheriff’s office is that they have added 102 police officers in 10 year’s time. Police protection costs $86 million more. The number of crimes apparently is down, based on information we obtained from other sources.

It is not possible to determine whether the officers have more work to do or whether they are getting there quicker, which is kind of what we wanted to know.

It makes us wonder how Curry determined that more police officers were needed, however.
Maybe he has a crystal ball. Or maybe he was able to get more relevant information from the police.

Mayoral privilege?

In any case, to our knowledge, he has not explained to the public why the additional police protection is needed. We invite him to do so and expect the City Council to ask as they review his proposed budget.

 

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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