GRANTS PASS, Ore.- Sheriff Dave Daniel has run the Josephine County Sheriff's Office since 2014. Daniel beat the incumbent Sheriff Gil Gilbertson for his spot four years ago, and now challenger Jonathan Knapp is hoping to do the same.
Jonathan Knapp is a Grants Pass native who retired as a sergeant after working for eighteen years at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona. He tells NewsWatch12 he has nearly two decades in managerial experience and has the financial knowledge to better balance Josephine County's law enforcement budget.
Knapp tell NewsWatch12 his goal if elected would be to bring more patrols back to a county that he says has seen a dwindling response to crime over Daniel's tenure.
Knapp says, "We have a very tight budget so we have to make the most of it. I would spend more money on what I call butts in the seats, deputies on patrol, especially expanding the evening hours where we have no coverage"
Since Sheriff Daniel took office, data shows patrol hours have increased from 10 to 12 hours a day. Jail capacity has also grown from 130 to 185 in the last four years.
Sheriff Daniel tells NewsWath12 he's currently in negotiations with the Oregon State Police to launch patrols during the night.
Daniel says, "When I get these next three hires, I should be able to start working some of these night time hours, say 11PM to 7AM. Times when some of the criminal elements in our county go unchecked, and that's my number one priority."
When it comes to the possibility of a new tax to better fund law enforcement, Knapp says it isn't needed.
Knapp says, "I honestly don't think there's any more money in Josephine County. There's just not a lot of taxable land,which means the few people that live here have to pay more and I'm not for that."
Sheriff Danel says another tax is inevitable, but doesn't want property owners to pay for it. He's looking at options like a seasonal sales tax to capitalize on our tourist season, and going after more illegal marijuana growers.
Daniel says, "I read to the Governor and U.S. Attorney and we were able to get some funds, I just received a $600,000 grant."
For a look at Jonathan Knapp's campaign page, click here.
For a look at Sheriff Dave Daniel's campaign page, click here.