By Steven Sandberg
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — With cutbacks to public safety, why not hire private security? That’s what’s going on in Josephine County with those cutbacks to the sheriff’s office. As a result, places like Concierge Home and Business Watch are seeing an increase in calls.
The Grants Pass-based company patrols and monitors both residential and commercial properties and it says when the public safety levy failed last month, its phones have been ringing off the hook with concerned citizens.
The security officers will normally try to defuse a situation, and can detain suspects until a police officer or sheriff’s deputy arrives. But with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office cutting back to just a handful of deputies, the security company does not know how quickly backup will arrive, if ever.
“We have full responsibility to make sure that we deescalate that situation and stop whatever happens because we may not have a backup, we may not have a response,” says company rep Julie Thomas.
Their patrols for a commercial building can run about $200 per month, and 24-hour alarm check on homes is about $12 per month. Concierge Home and Business Watch says the public safety problems in Josephine County are not going to go away any time soon. So they recommend people team together; law enforcement, communities and neighborhood watch, to try to make up for what they lost.