GRANTS PASS, Ore. – As budget problems have forced more cutbacks to public safety in Josephine County, it has meant more dangerous situations for private security companies on patrol. A violent incident Monday night is now being investigated by Oregon State Police.
Jeff Thomas, owner of Concierge Home and Business Watch, said one of his security officers was patrolling an equipment yard along Caves Highway in Cave Junction Monday night. Before midnight, the officer saw two young people inside the yard, and told them to leave. A short time later, she saw the pair inside the yard again. As the officer confronted them, she was hit in the head by a third subject and knocked to the ground. As the subject began punching her, she reached for her gun to defend herself. The three people ran off, and the officer claims one fired a shot at her. She fired one shot back in defense. No one was hit.
The security officer was treated and released from the hospital, and Oregon State Police are now investigating the attack, and the officer’s use of her weapon. According to OSP security officer operate under the same gun laws as private citizens.
Members of the citizens group “Securing Our Safety,” which has advocated for higher funding for public safety in Josephine County, said this incident is the latest example of the cutbacks to the sheriff’s office. Thomason said private security companies should not have to put their lives on the line in the course of their patrols.
“The criminals of Josephine County have little respect for law enforcement,” said SOS member Cliff Thomason. “Now when you have a hired security system, they’re going to have less respect.”
In previous interviews in the past year, Concierge officers have told NewsWatch 12 they have faced more confrontations, and have been attacked and shot at,