- Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 09:11
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Starting today, May 25th, in anticipation of a looming $7.5 million dollar budget shortfall, many Sheriff's Office divisions and services will be reducing or ceasing operations.
The drastic decrease in the fiscal year 2012-13 budget, and subsequent years' budgets, is a result of the federal government's decision to terminate federal timber payments, commonly known as Oregon & California (O&C) funds.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE OFFICIAL SCHEDULE FOR REDUCTION OF SERVICES:
FRIDAY, MAY 25TH, 4 P.M. - MAJOR CRIMES UNIT CLOSES
As of 4 p.m. today, the sheriff's Major Crimes Unit will cease operations. Current, open criminal cases have been referred to the District Attorney's Office, but there will be no further investigative follow-up done by sheriff's detectives.
FRIDAY, MAY 25TH, 11 P.M. - RECORDS DIVISION CLOSES
The Records Division, which fields non-emergency phone calls and completes many state-required functions, will close. Non-emergency reports may be submitted by citizens online at www.jocosheriff.us/report, but the reports will simply be logged for information. There will not be any deputy follow-up or investigation.
TUESDAY, MAY 29TH - CIVIL DIVISION HOURS REDUCED
As of May 29th, the Civil Division will be reducing its hours to Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.
FRIDAY, JUNE 1ST - PATROL, K9, RESERVE UNIT AND VOLUNTEER UNIT SERVICES REDUCED
Patrol services will decrease from 20 hours a day, 7 days a week to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The total number of patrol personnel will decrease from 24.5 to 6. Of the remaining six, one is a sergeant and three are contracted by other entities.
Contract deputies' primary responsibilities are to those entities that pay their salaries â€- namely, the City of Cave Junction, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon State Marine Board. Therefore, their availability to respond to areas outside their contracts will be extremely limited.
Considering the quantity of high priority calls that this office receives, it is clear that patrol will only be able to respond to life threatening incidents.
Sheriff's deputies will respond to life threatening calls only during patrol hours of operation, which are not being publicized for safety reasons. There are no funds available for call outs, so sheriff's deputies will not be available to respond after hours.
If you call 911 after hours, and it is a life threatening situation, Oregon State Police will provide a limited response that involves eliminating the current threat.
Sheriff's patrol deputies will be spread thin, and their response, even in life threatening situations, may be delayed.
As such, the Sheriff's Office regretfully advises that, if you know you are in a potentially volatile situation (for example, you are a protected person in a restraining order that you believe the respondent may violate), you may want to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services.
Our four-team K9 Unit will also be diminished. We are attempting to keep one K9, which will be assigned to the one patrol sergeant. The other three dogs will be retired and adopted by their handlers.
Our Reserve Unit will still be utilized wherever possible; however, funding constraints will affect their effectiveness as well. For example, due to the high cost of gas and vehicle maintenance, even those reserves who are qualified to work independently will always need to ride with a deputy.
Due to a lack of staff available for support and back-up, the Volunteer Unit will no longer provide patrol or home security services. They will, however, still provide limited services that don't carry the same safety concerns.
The Murphy substation will be closed, to save on leasing costs. The Merlin and Cave Junction substations will have very limited hours, which are yet to be determined.
TO BE ANNOUNCED - JAIL RELEASE OF INMATES
The jail will be releasing about 60 inmates to get to a level at which the decreased number of staff can safely manage the population. Further information on release procedures and times will be publicized closer to the time(s) of release, for safety reasons.