December 27th, 2013

Oregon County Citizens Take Law Into Their Own Hands


Frankly, all federalized police departments or Sheriff’s departments that do not keep their oath to the Constitution should be replaced by citizen’s watch groups.  Funding should be a secondary factor to community safety, and that safety includes the protection of civil liberties.  Every county in America should be doing what the people of Josephine County are doing today…

Brandon Smith, Associate Editor

When budget woes reduced the sheriff’s department in one rural Oregon county to a bare-bones force, residents decided to take matters into their own hands — creating armed patrol groups in defiance of local officials.

Their decision has raised safety concerns with the county government, which would prefer residents instead hike their own taxes to fund the hiring of trained deputies. But despite the risks, the move stands as a unique, some would say innovative, response to one of the country’s most severe local budget crunches.

The government in Josephine County, where nearly 70 percent of the land is owned by the U.S. government, had long relied on federal timber subsidies to pay the bills. When the feds terminated the funds, county officials scrambled to pass a May 2012 tax levy to make up a nearly $7.5 million budget shortfall.

However, the county’s residents voted against the levy, and as a result the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office was gutted. The major crimes unit closed, dozens of prisoners were released from the county jail and the department reduced operations to Monday-Friday, eight hours a day.


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2 Responses to “Oregon County Citizens Take Law Into Their Own Hands”

  1. 1
    smooze1775 Says:

    I live in SE Texas where refineries are the no 1 industry, I can only imagine what would happen to this area if all these refiners could pick up and move somewhere else, this place would die.

  2. 2
    Ron Jr. Says:

    Where I live it’s a rural community and our police aren’t on duty on the weekends. We are covered by the NJ state police, or in a dangerous emergency the neighboring township plus the state police. Crime isn’t an issue here but a couple of times over 20 years I had to call for police on the weekend and the response time was anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Luck for me it wasn’t life threatening, however if it was, I not only would have called the police, but I wouldn’t hesitate to use the means of protection that my 2cd amendment right gives me. And I am more than prepared to do just that.

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