A group of citizens in Josephine County, Oregon has taken it upon themselves to create a partially armed neighborhood watch to fill in the gaps left by cuts to law enforcement.
Josephine County in Oregon faced a 7 and a half million dollar shortfall following the loss of a government timber subsidy and the voting down of a tax levy by residents, and in response, significantly scaled back the county Sheriff’s Office.
In what they believe to be the absence of all other solutions, a group of citizens, led by a former law enforcement officer, has taken it upon themselves to create a partially armed neighborhood watch to fill in the gaps left by the cuts.
At present, the makeshift battalion has about a hundred members, and an additional 12 citizens are serving as a ‘response team’.
That may sound like a lot of people, but the cutbacks were pretty severe.
The major crimes division was shut down completely and the sheriff’s office is only reachable by phone Monday through Friday between 9 and 3:30.
They announced they will only be responding to life-threatening situations, and suggested that people in volatile situations move elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the county jail set dozens of inmates free because they couldn’t afford to keep them.
Skeptics of the homegrown organization have been vocal, but, said the man who put it together, “Who else is going to protect you when your government can't?”