News | Local

Polk Sheriff's Staff Will Shrink, But Not Through Layoffs

OPB | April 19, 2013 5 p.m. | Updated: April 19, 2013 6:05 p.m. | Portland

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Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe says his office will be able to avoid layoffs this summer, but only because of losing staff to attrition.

The county’s budget calls for $1 million in reductions by this summer. Wolfe says three deputies have accepted other jobs, and one detective has announced his retirement.

Wolfe says public safety services will be adjusted accordingly.

“With our patrol hours being reduced, there’s four hours out of the day, non-specific hours in which we don’t’ have deputies responsible for non-priority calls. We will respond to any 9-1-1 high priority call. I certainly want to assure citizens of Polk County, if there’s an emergency, we’re going to send someone.”

Even if he’s that someone, Wolfe says.

Polk County encompasses 740 square miles, and is home to about 75,000 people. It’s one of several Oregon Counties facing cutbacks in public safety and other key services with the end of federal timber subsidies.

A citizens’ committee has been convened to discuss the possibility of a public safety levy in November.

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