JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County voters have a big decision coming up -- who will become the next sheriff?
That person will lead an agency of more than 3,000 employees with a $550 million budget. Action News Jax has highlighted the two remaining candidates running for sheriff.
In the August 23 primary election, Lakesha Burton and TK Waters received enough votes out of the five candidates on the ballot to move on to a runoff election on November 8.
We interviewed Burton and Waters ahead of the primary election. You can watch our full interviews with them below:
Lakesha Burton is a 20-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. She started as an officer on the street and worked her way to Assistant Chief of Community Engagement and then most recently, as a zone commander.
When asked what the main priority would be, she would address it, Burton responded, “I believe that is the culture. I think that law enforcement has evolved over the years. And the fact that we have such a young agency, the Jacksonville sheriff’s office is very different than it was just five years ago. So again, you have younger, more innovative officers, and it’s this opportunity to cultivate a more well-rounded officer.”
Waters has 31 years of law enforcement experience with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He started a corrections officer and worked his way up to Assistant Chief as a zone commander and then eventually, Chief of Investigations. Waters created JSO’s Violence Reduction section and built a community outreach program for at-risk youth.
When asked what the biggest issue he would address as sheriff, Waters replied, “We’ve had issues since I’ve been a police officer that we’ve all been working behind, working with fewer people. Instead of having enough or more than enough, we’ve always had too little, I think we need to change that. And I will work to change that because it’s necessary for us to provide the proper service to our community would be making sure we are fully staffed.”
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