Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sun, May 6 2012 at 6:34 PM, Updated: Sun, May 6 2012 at 8:24 PM
The countdown is on until May 15th when Josephine County residents will vote on a controversial tax levy to fund the Sheriff's Office and public safety.
The threat of having little to no protection from deputies is prompting many people to arm themselves.
Bruce Smith said he's not holding his breath for the Josephine County property tax levy to pass.
"There's a lot of people who aren't going to vote for the county levy and most people are really not expecting it to pass and some people are scared," said Smith, who is a Josephine County resident.
Some people are scared that if the levy doesn't pass on May 15th sheriff's deputies will no longer be able to protect residents.
"You gotta protect yourself [...] A lot of my friends are getting concealed weapons permits so they can pack [...] One friend of mine he's loading everyday, he's loading ammo and buying guns," said Wimer resident Rick Mead.
"People are wanting to buy guns and ammunition because nobody really knows what's going to happen," said Smith.
The cash-strapped Sheriff's Office is facing a roughly $8-million budget cut after timber payments ran out.
As the looming fear of having nearly no sheriff's deputies sets in residents say they'll be prepared even if they have to take their protection into their own hands.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.