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CA County with ‘higher crime rate than national average’ cuts daytime patrol officers due to low staff

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“Defund the police” they said. California’s Tehama County no longer is able to have daytime officers patrolling the county. Tehama’s Sheriff’s Office released a statement to the press that the drastic decision to no longer have daytime patrols anywhere in the county as of November 20 is necessary to “manage a catastrophic staffing shortage throughout the agency.”

“Over the past several years, the Sheriff’s Office has had difficulties with recruitment and retention of employees, which has been directly linked to pay disparities,” the statement read. “A drastic rise in attrition, coupled with the inability to present enticing recruitment efforts have resulted in an unprecedented staffing shortage.”

The county, located in Northern California, has a population of around 66,000 and covers almost 3,000 square miles. The San Francisco Gate writes that the county has a significantly “higher crime rate than the state and national averages. Its most populous city, Red Bluff, has a violent crime rate of nearly 9.79 per 1,000 residents, making it less safe that 97% of cities in the country, according to Neighborhood Scout.”

In a Facebook post on Monday, the sheriff’s office laid blame at the feet of county supervisors.

“We have spoken the Board for several years and warned them that staffing levels are too low,” the post read. “Rather than take swift and decisive action, they have delayed and allowed too many good employees to leave …  We will continue to do everything we can for the great citizens of Tehama County.”

SF Gate writes:

Lt. Rob Bakken told KRCR that the office lost 20 employees over the past year, and that job applicant numbers are low. A current job posting for a deputy sheriff position in Tehama County offers an hourly wage of between $25 and $30, which equates to a salary of around $52,000-$62,000 without overtime pay. For comparison, a sheriff’s deputy in Solano County is paid around $82,000 a year.

 The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office will maintain nighttime patrols, and is seeking help from California Highway Patrol to respond to life-threatening emergencies in the county during daylight hours.  

 “Obviously, response times are going to be affected,” Bakken told KRCR. “And we’ve made the decisions to limit, as much as we can, the dangers to public safety. But not having deputies on the streets, obviously, is not beneficial to the public.”

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