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City Council Passes Bill To Hire 40 New Jacksonville Police Officers

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office patrol car is pictured.
News4Jax
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The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will be able to hire 40 new officers thanks to a federal grant and city funding.

City Council has passed a bill that approves the hiring and training of 40 additional Jacksonville police officers. 

Council voted 18-0 Tuesday night to accept a grant of $5 million from the federal Department of Justice. 

The grant would go towards hiring and training the officers and would be matched by $749,141 dollars from the city. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will administer the grant. 

The bill to beef up the police department comes after a year of protests against police killings of African Americans, and demands for defunding police forces across the country. 

City Councilman Rory Diamond, who co-sponsored the bill, said the funding isn’t at odds with the demands of protesters. “Those who are concerned about police accountability and who want the police to do more community policing need to realize that that requires more officers, not less,” Diamond said. “So this fits in with that exactly.” 

The grant is from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services, or “COPS” program. 

The bill is currently awaiting the signature of Mayor Lenny Curry.

You can contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.