A federal grant that funds the Lane County’s Sheriff’s Office’s resident deputies in those areas is running out.
Over the last ten years the sheriff’s office has seen a 61-percent reduction in its patrol department, and the cuts aren’t over. In about a year, the loss of a federal grant will mean the disappearance of the resident deputy program and at least three jobs.
Right now, the grant provides one deputy for three different areas: McKenzie-Mohawk Valley, South Lane–anything south of Creswell–and West Lane, which is anything west of Mapleton.
The upcoming levy is focused in the jails, so it won’t help them in this area. The sheriff’s office says they’ll really need the help of the community now.
“It is always a joint effort between the community and law enforcement to ensure a safe community. And so when times are lean as they are now, it’s even more important that communities work together, get to know and work with their neighbors to protect each other,” said Capt. Byron Trapp, Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
The grant lasts for four years and has a stipulation that the fourth year has to cover the recipient. So starting in May, the sheriff’s office has to fund the more than $640,000 to keep the deputies in place.
The sheriff’s office says it won’t stop responding to calls, but this will definitely make the whole process take longer. It says it understands the community’s growing frustrations and hopes it knows its frustrated too.