Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner released inmates from the county jail during a press conference last spring to emphasize the need for a public safety levy. It was a routine occurrence in Lane County, where jail beds were scarce and prisoners were often released early due to overcrowding.
The levy passed in May and the property tax money has allowed Turner to hire more staff and keep early releases to a minimum. However, a lack of funding for the local district attorney’s office means fewer prosecutions are also a factor. That could be one reason the crime rate hasn’t gone down. Turner says he’s grateful for the resources the levy provides, but there’s still more to be done to shore up the public safety system in Lane County.
We’ll check in with him on the latest public safety news from Lane County.
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017