Board Approves More Rural Lane County Sheriff's Deputies
More sheriff’s deputies will be on patrol in rural Lane County. This week, the Board of Commissioners approved a proposal to use Secure Rural Schools funds for additional patrols.
There will be four more full-time deputies. Two will be assigned to the McKenzie River Valley, and two in western Lane County. Sheriff Cliff Harrold said one of the deputies in the McKenzie area had worked there before. Russ Olson was on duty the night of the Holiday Farm fire and helped evacuate people.
“Deputy Olson knows a lot of folks up there because he had previously been the resident deputy.” Harrold said. “So, he had a lot of connections up there. And we’ve continued to send him up there since the fire to check in on folks, to see how folks are doing as they begin to try and recover.”
Harrold says the change will improve response time for rural parts of the county, which has been a problem in the last 10 years or so. Previously, there were only three deputies on hand at a time to respond to calls in the 4,600 square mile county.
Because of the additional deputies, Harrold said a pilot program in Florence that provides mobile crisis response, similar to CAHOOTS in Eugene and Springfield, will be able to expand to unincorporated western Lane County. Harrold says the deputies can serve as back up for the crisis response unit outside of Florence.
“Having two deputies assigned to west Lane County is going to help us serve that area that’s geographically difficult to serve is going to help us build those relationships and be a better partner to this mobile crisis response pilot program.” Harrold said.
The resolution allocates funds from the Secure Rural Schools reserves for up to five years for the four full time sheriff’s deputy positions.
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