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It’s a plan that comes in at $1.27 billion. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is again pushing to invest in public safety, with his new City budget proposal asking for 100 more JSO officers and 42 more JFRD firefighter positions, in addition to $24.5 million for their vehicles. “This is an investment that we have to make as a community,” Curry says. The prior two budgets have each authorized more Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office hires and rebuilt the Community Service Officer program. If the proposed hires are approved, it would put JSO back near where it used to be during peak staffing, when Jacksonville was making gains on fighting violent crime. There’s no clear timeline yet for how quickly the officers would be recruited, trained, and put on the streets, if Curry’s recommendations are approved. “We hear a lot of talk about police officers being able to get out and engage the community. Friends, when you’re at dangerously low levels, they’re strained, they’re running from call to call. The overtime is putting stress on the police officers and their families,” Curry says. A focus for Curry is his $50 million “Safer Neighborhoods” investment plan, which puts money toward some of these public safety elements, like fire mobile data terminals, fire bunker gear, JSO equipment, a backup 911 call system, and small capital equipment for JFRD that wasn’t being replaced in a timely manner. “As our City grows, we must also be willing to invest in the men and women who are willing to run in to burning buildings any given day,” Curry says. The investment plan has other projects as well, like  $4 million to develop a community field at Edward Waters College and $4.4 million to refurbish EWC dorms. Additionally, it would retrofit five City pools and enable seven pools to provide year-round drowning prevention lessons. Curry estimates 12,000 children can benefit from the lessons over the next three years. The “Safer…

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