Looming layoffs for JSO corrections officers | News

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Looming layoffs for JSO corrections officers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  It's the lottery no corrections officer in Duval County wanted to win.

Determining seniority within the ranks of the newest corrections officers, pulling the bingo balls is procedure outlined by the unions.

Sheriff John Rutherford says 58 officers will be laid off to help plug the hole in this year's proposed budget, the number they draw determines who goes.

"I don't like the lottery process. I think as an administrator, they should put the onus on me to make a decision, not a bingo ball," said Rutherford.

Many of the officers elected to stay home... they'll be notified of their position by email.

But a handful attended the drawing, and comforted each other as their numbers were called.

"I worked hard to get where I'm at, and I was just determined to complete it," said Shantel Scott-Cook.

Scott-Cook says this process was particularly horrible for her family.

Husband was laid off last year, and she miscarried twins before she got the job.

"It's kind of bad for both of us, because both of us will be laid off. And I have a baby," she said.  

Like many of the officers, Scott-Cook plans to protest the cuts at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

Hoping her story will persuade the council to restore at least some of JSO's budget for next year.

"These cuts by the mayor, if they're allowed to stand, are going to take police officers off the street, and put drug addicts back on the street, I don't that's the kind of community we want to be," said Rutherford.

Mayor Alvin Brown's administration did not respond to calls for comment.

The budget will  be discussed at Tuesday's City Council meeting.


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