Sheriffs paint dire picture for Ore. lawmakers

4/17/2013 2:30 PM
By Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Sheriffs from Oregon timber counties are warning state lawmakers that their ability to protect their communities is continuing to degrade as their costs rise and funding plummets.

The sheriffs of Curry, Douglas, Josephine and Polk counties spoke to a state legislative panel Wednesday. They say their patrol forces are nearly nonexistent, inmates are routinely being let out of jail and prosecutors don't have enough resources to prosecute misdemeanor cases.

They say officers are in danger because they can't count on backup.

State lawmakers are looking for ways to help the counties, which are struggling since a federal subsidy for timber counties expired and taxpayers have refused to make up the gap.

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