Budget cuts lead to lack of law enforcement in Polk County - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Budget cuts lead to lack of law enforcement in Polk County

DALLAS, OR (KPTV) -

For people who call 911 in Polk County, there's no guarantee that there will be help available if you don't call at the right time.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says deputies are only on patrol between noon and 10 p.m. because of budget cuts. Sheriff Bob Wolfe said he had to reduce his staff of 18 down to just six this year.

Wolfe said in the past four months, 811 people have called 911 at night when there's nobody available to respond.

"It's extremely frustrating to me," Wolfe said. "My officers, since the day we left the academy, we've been taught and programmed: you go fix, you go resolve; in cases where someone needs to go to jail, you go to jail. We're not able to do that on a regular basis anymore."

Wolfe said Oregon State Police have offered to cover emergencies in the county until 2 a.m. In major emergencies, Wolfe said he would call in off-duty deputies and ask for help from other counties.

Wolfe said the problem all comes down to funding, and unless voters decide to pass a levy, the situation won't get any better.

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