Josephine County increases county law enforcement

Grants Pass, Ore.– The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is taking a big step to protect the county after receiving more funds from voters who passed a public safety levy last May.

Sheriff Dave Daniel says he’s hired about 20 people since then and plans are in place to use those people to enhance the coverage throughout the county.

“I’d like to say the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is on the rise and we’re going to good places,” said Daniel.

For the sheriff, the timing of this levy couldn’t have been better.

“The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office was in a position prior to the levy passing where people would call and they would just sit on the phone, just waiting to see if anybody would pick up.”

Now with more funding Daniel says they’ve been able to hire two records personnel to service that once vacant position. But that isn’t the only job they’ve filled.

A variety of other previously vacant positions involving deputies, administration and support technicians are now finding reinforcement, allowing the sheriffs office to provide better service for the community.

Most of the positions they have been able to fill have involved deputies for patrols, the corrections facility and residential.

“Three of the positions that we have hired in, are currently ones at the academy right now are resident deputies,” said Daniel. “Those resident deputies are geographically located and reside within those areas.”

Daniel says these positions were important to fill first as it will give the sheriff’s office a chance to reach a wider radius of the population that they couldn’t always attend to before. Other positions that have found new hires include eight correction deputies and five patrol deputies.

However, these deputies won’t be available to work quite yet. While there have been hundreds of applicants, the sheriff’s office’s criteria for hiring is strict and most of the new hires still need to attend training before they are officially certified. This means it could be a few months before any are ready for the job.

“There so much to it. You have the academy to go to. You have field training that could take three to four months before they’re up and running,” said Daniel. “It takes time.”

But Daniel is certain that in the next five years, the county will be seeing a lot of improvement.

“We’re in the position of being able to provide a professional public safety service to our citizens and based on that, our criteria for selection is pretty stringent,” he said. “But we’re getting those people and for years down the road, it’ll show.”

Sheriff Daniel says on top of the 20 new hires the sheriffs office has made, they are still looking to bring on 12 additional personnel, most of which will be for the county jail.

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