CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — Four deputies are left to protect Josephine County and three of them are paid for by, and dedicated to, specific entities like the BLM or the city of Cave Junction.
When the criminal justice tax levy failed last year, NewsWatch12 followed one of the remaining deputies patrolling the county. When a similar tax levy failed again this year, it meant that Josephine County was only going to be funding one sheriff’s patrol deputy. Deputies say criminals aren’t losing any speed, but rather they’re gaining momentum.
Deputy Travis Snyder is covering the Cave Junction area. That position is contracted by the city of Cave Junction. Two other contracts are for BLM and the river area. The fourth deputy is for the rest of the county.
Deputy Snyder says, what was once a dozen calls a shift for that fourth deputy, has more than doubled. Today, there are over 26 pending calls for service for that patrol deputy. Deputy Snyders says he can serve as back-up, but since his position is contracted, he is limited to move around the county. He says it’s not just the community who feels helpless, but himself.
“It’s hard not generate a negative view of the county. Because it seems like every day we’re becoming more and more out of control with criminal activity. You know, I don’t just work in this community but I live in this community. It’s hard to be proud of a community that’s being overrun by criminal activity,” said Deputy Snyder
Since there are only four deputies, many of those calls for service are put on hold, sometimes for several days. Deputies say most of them are difficult to follow-up on.
They also believes many of the criminals in Josephine County know when deputies are working and commit crimes around their shifts.