Josephine County Sheriff Patrol Decrease

By Yessenia Anderson

GRANTS PASS,Ore. — For almost 24 hours now Josephine County has been operating with only six sheriffs deputies on patrol. Those cuts were made Friday and are already spreading fear among residents.

Without levy funding, the sheriff’s office was forced to decrease enforcement to just Sheriff Gil Gilbertson and three contract deputies.

Last week, those cuts made their way to the county jail. The staff of 35 was reduced to 18. As a result, officials said 39 inmates were released. Now for some, fewer patrol on the streets means a tighter grip on the ones they love.

“You have to second guess whether it’s going to be safe. They’re use to a lot of freedom in this community and that’s just something we cant take for granted anymore,” said Dale Balme.

The six deputies will be on the road eight hours a day that’s down from 20 and will only work five days a week.