Oregon’s Josephine County has been forced to drastically cut funds to its sheriff department in recent years. In fact, for the whole county is patrolled by only one officer. This lack of money has pushed Sheriff Gil Gilbertson to ask for volunteers to help assist the county in documenting crimes that would otherwise be left by the wayside.
“The reason we have a much higher crime rate compared to larger counties is we have no personnel to check on calls,” says Gilbertson. State patrol officers are being deployed in Josephine County to help address crime in the area.
The proposed program would teach volunteers how to document and collect evidence at crime scenes. Volunteers would be sworn in as unpaid reserve deputies, so as to legitimize their reports in court. They would work as investigation teams, led by specially-trained former law enforcement officers who have volunteered their time to help the county.