Josephine County Sheriff's Office Faces Budget Cuts

, Posted: Wed, May 2 2012 at 10:02 PM, Updated: Wed, May 2 2012 at 10:03 PM

Faces of concern as Sheriff Gil Gilbertson explains what $8 million in budget cuts may look like. "It's about as serious as it gets. We are at the edge of the cliff and we are going to fall off if we don't get financial support."

The May 15th ballots have been mailed. On them, a proposed property tax increase that would fix the financial crisis. In order to pass, it must be approved by 50% plus one and residents in this county are torn. A few responses were "Oh, I'm voting no.", "We pay enough taxes already!", "I hope it passes." and "I am definitely voting yes."

So, what if the levy doesn't pass? "We aren't going to be able to provide the service that this community deserves." says Sheriff Gilbertson.

  • 98 employees - drop to 28.
  • 90 inmates will walk free.
  • 21 deputies - drops to 3.
  • The canine patrol - sold.
  • All detectives - fired.
  • Juvenile detention center - closed.

Sheriff Gil Gilberston explains why Josephine County could be a breeding ground for criminals. "A few years back we listened to phone calls from inmates. They actually invited their friends to move here because it is so easy to get away with crime. We are so low staffed."

Gilbertson says pink slips will go out may 16th to 70 employees. Within four years the entire department will likely close, but he hasn't lost hope saying "I don't turn my back and walk away. I took this job and I will stay here."

Just 14 days away from a final decision, the Sheriff is hoping for the best, but planning for the worst.

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