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Sheriff Clovis Watson discusses new goals and policies at ASO

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:30 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Sheriff Clovis Watson responded to Alachua County Commissioners’ concern about pregnant women being booked into the jail.

In a response to the commissioners, Sheriff Watson said they are already working on the proposal the board recommended.

He emphasized that the county commission and sheriff’s office have the same goal in protecting mothers and their babies.

“If you are pregnant, you will be evaluated before you are left at our jail. Whether we arrest them or anyone else. We think that’s the appropriate and right thing to do” said Watson.

The response letter also addressed how the sheriff’s office is experiencing staffing shortages, but Watson says he is confident in the employees they currently have.

“If we fall apart, the citizens have nowhere else to go. So we will not fall apart. We will address the issues. We will address the shortages. And we have people we are hiring every day to address that and hopefully, we will be fully staffed within a few months” said Watson.

He says he has been working for months on a reorganization plan for ASO.

Factors such as county growth, crime rate, the jail and more are under scrutiny.

“We evaluate all of those issues and look at a way to address that and also make sure we have adequate staff to address that appropriately. We look at all of that. Crime patterns and what we need in different municipalities. We are the law enforcement to smaller municipalities in the county” said Watson.

In addition to fixing issues, Watson says his administration also has a goal to build a new sheriff’s office.

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