June 1st: More Cuts for Josephine County

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sun, May 27 2012 at 6:47 PM, Updated: Sun, May 27 2012 at 7:24 PM

Already the Josephine County Sheriff's Office has closed their major crimes unit. They're shutting it down for good.

But come June 1st, patrols will decrease from 20 hours a day seven days a week, to just eight hours, five days a week. 18 patrol deputies will be out of a job.

"[There's] just no safety for the people of Josephine County," said Ernie Fields, a Josephine County Sheriff's Office Marine Deputy.

"I think it's wrong we're getting rid of our Sheriffs," said Anita Mccue, who is a Grants Pass resident.

She is one of many residents who are concerned about what the lack of deputies will mean for the community.

"It's not safe here in Grants Pass without our local law enforcement," said Mccue.

In the coming days as fewer deputies patrol the streets, more criminals will be on them.

The Josephine County Jail is getting ready to release about 60 inmates.

"It's difficult for everybody and people just need to pay attention to their surroundings and protect themselves," said Deputy Fields.

The Sheriff's Office also said they're retiring three of their four K-9 dogs. In addition, deputies said if you call them with a life threatening emergency, it could take authorities a while to get there.

"I don't know what's going to happen here in Grants Pass. A lot of people probably will move," said Mccue.

Others in Josephine County said they'll be fine; they've been on their own before.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

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.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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