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Jacksonville police officer faces domestic-battery charge

During a news conference, Undersheriff Pat Ivey said Johnathan Hunt was arrested and charged with domestic violence.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A rookie police officer was arrested Thursday in a domestic battery, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Jonathon T. Hunt, who had only been on the force since November of last year, was fired upon his arrest and booked on the charge, Undersheriff Pat Ivey said.

With such a short time on the force, the 27-year-old had no civil service protection and cannot appeal the firing, Ivey said. He becomes the ninth Sheriff's Office employee arrested this year.

"It does seem like it's had an uptick here since COVID-19," Ivey said. "I don't have an explanation for it. I just know if we get any allegation for conduct, it will be investigated, and this is another example of such."

The Sheriff's Office's Integrity Unit investigated the domestic-violence allegation early Thursday against Hunt, but due to state confidentiality laws, Ivey said no details could be released on what happened or the victim. He said Hunt otherwise had no issues in his 11 months on the job.

The last Sheriff's Office employee arrest was corrections officer Jatoia Howard on Sept. 23 after a false insurance claim was made about a hit-and-run crash, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Just days before that, Arlisa Tarver, executive assistant to the chief of patrol, was arrested after information on felony suspects was released to people outside the department.

This year's total is compared to three last year, the undersheriff said. So far, 62 other Sheriff’s Office employees have been arrested since Sheriff Mike Williams took office in the last five years. Almost all of them no longer work at the Sheriff’s Office, although most had their charges dropped, reduced or diverted, according to a July Times-Union investigation.

Click here to read the Florida Times-Union article.