Published: Aug 31, 2011 4:26 PM EDT

DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) - The Pasco County Sheriff says he wants more deputies to help fight prescription drug abuse.
    
Sheriff Chris Nocco told Pasco County commissioners Tuesday he needs $1.6 million to create 23 jobs as his office continues to battle what he called a prescription pill war.
    
The St. Petersburg Times reports the new jobs would be broken down like this: three analysts to help spot trends, 12 officers to be split into two squads to fight prescription drugs and eight nurses to handle an increasing number of inmates with drug issues.
    
Commissioners acknowledged that prescription abuse is a growing problem while expressing concern about paying for the additional positions.
    
The commission has two more public hearing before voting on the budget Sept. 20. The new budget year begins Oct. 1.

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