Orange County Sheriff asks for $15M in additional funding, hire 20 new deputies

ORLANDO, Fla. — Sheriff John Mina said deputies have one of the hardest jobs in the world and he wishes he could pay them more.

But at the same time, many citizens are calling for the county to defund the Sheriff's office.

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Simulator, implicit bias and deescalation training are only part of what Orange County deputies are working on to repair the relationship between the community and law enforcement.

"Because of the community outcry, we are internally reviewing our use of force policy and looking at the way we do things," Mina said.

His comments followed several from the public, asking county commissioners to defund the Sheriff's office.

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Mina's current budget is $266 million and he's asking for $281 million.

Most of it would pay for things like raises and insurance premiums. But Mina also wants to hire 20 more street deputies.

By law, Orange County needs to hire five more court deputies and two new school resource officers.

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, the previous Orange County Sheriff, asked Mina what the consequences would be if the county did not give the Sheriff's office an extra $15 million next year.

Mina said, for one, it could impact response times. But he also reminded the commission about our community once dealing with the worst mass shooting in American history.

“We are a target. We’ve seen it once. God forbid we see it again,” Mina said. “We need to be prepared for those threats.”

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Mina said he was originally requesting 60 new deputies, but because of the pandemic, he brought that down to 20.

He believes the request is very reasonable.