Cave Junction Discusses Law Enforcement

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CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — A year after Josephine County voters quashed a public safety levy, another proposal could be on next May’s ballot. This time it would be for the formation of a countywide law enforcement services district. The city of Cave Junction has not had it’s own police department for many years, so it contracts with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office for 40 hours of patrol services a week.

With drastic cutbacks in sheriff’s patrol and other law enforcement services, many county residents say a more sure funding mechanism is needed; so, a taxing district is being proposed. Cave Junction’s City Council could be the first to move that plan forward with a resolution for commissioners to put something on the May ballot.

“In order for the county to pass a tax district that includes the city of Cave Junction, the city of Cave Junction would have to provide a resolution allowing them to put that on the ballot,” said Cave Junction City Recorder, Ryan Nolan.

A citizen’s group called Securing Our Safety said this would be the first step towards a May ballot measure to finance most all law enforcement except patrol.

“Initial proposal is that this district would fund the DA’s office, the jail, juvenile services, court services and animal control,” explained Pat Fahey, with the the Securing Our Safety committee, “and that’s where the discussion starts.”

A letter from commissioners to Cave Junction officials last month said, “The board of commissioners has agreed to intiate the district formation process by board order at the December 19, 2012 business session.”

In order for a ballot measure to apply to all of Josephine County, including Cave Junction, which contracts for its police protection from the Sheriff’s Office, the city council needs to endorse such action.