Citizens Form Armed Response Group After Local Sheriff’s Office Cut to 8 Hours/Day Due to Budget Cuts
What would you do if your local law enforcement only worked 8 hours per day 5 days per week and only responded to life threatening calls?
Well, one rural Oregon community has an answer – they formed an armed response group made up exclusively of private citizens working on a volunteer basis.
Josephine County, Oregon – 70% of the land here is owned by the US government. Previously, the county was able to keep its government and law enforcement services running due to federal subsidies paid by the federal government.
When the feds cut that funding, the county had to make severe budget cuts according to Fox News. One of the main things that was cut, the local sheriff’s office. We aren’t talking about reducing the number of deputies or using patrol cars for a little longer then usual. We are talking GUTTED.
The office announced they would only respond to life threatening calls from now on. On top of that, the office would only operate 8 hours a day during week days. The government even went as far as to advise citizens to move to another county if they didn’t feel safe.
Well, a group of 100 citizens decided they could feel safe without agreeing to the massive tax raise proposed by the county government. So, they formed the North Valley Community Watch.
The group responds to calls that the sheriff’s office is unable to. Many members of the group carry legal firearms, although none have ever had to use them.
According to Fox News,
Ken Selig — who was the longest-serving law enforcement officer in all three local agencies when he was forced to retire from the department due to cuts — told FoxNews.com he found the sheriff’s declaration unacceptable. And he felt compelled to guard his community’s vulnerable members.
“Who else is going to protect you when your government can’t?” Selig said.
Selig and his friend Pete Scaglione formed the North Valley Community Watch, a county-wide organization dedicated to helping citizens in non-life-threatening situations, primarily property crimes. It is one of a handful of community groups that have formed since the cuts. Without a robust Sheriff’s Office, their mission is broader than the typical neighborhood watch group.