GOLD BEACH, Ore. — After a long fight against budget cuts, and with resources in his department dwindling due to lack of funding, Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said he can’t physically handle it anymore.
Bishop announced his is stepping down as sheriff, citing the stress of the funding crisis. Over the past few years, Curry County has made severe cuts to its public safety system because of a lack of funding and reduced federal timber payments, and voters have also twice rejected tax levies to fund Sheriffs patrols and the jail. As a result, several deputies left the agency to take higher paying jobs in other departments.
Bishop said he talked with his doctor, and said the stress was taking too big of a toll on his health, and he didn’t see it getting better.
“We weren’t moving anywhere as a county,” he said. “Frankly, the financial outcome just doesn’t look too bright.”
Leaders in nearby counties who worked with Bishop on budget issues said they understand how frustrating and demanding the budget situation can be.
“I’ve worried about this happening over there with Bishop, because their budget just keeps going down and down.,” said Jackson County Commissioner John Rachor. “There doesn’t seem to be much interest in some of those rural communities for the property owners to pay more taxes.”
Bishop will retire in September and will become the Executive Director of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association. Curry County Commissioners will appoint a new sheriff, who will likely serve until the November election.