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Lane County Board approves additional sheriff’s deputies

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Lane County Board meeting webcast
Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harrold presented to the Board of Commissioners' meeting Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved using $7.2 million over five years to increase rural sheriff’s patrols.

The federal infrastructure bill includes a renewal of Secure Rural Schools funds for Oregon’s formerly timber-dependent counties. Lane County’s estimated allocation is $13.7 million. Lane County Sheriff Cliff Harrold proposed increasing the number of deputies on rural patrol. He said that would improve response time—which averages more than two hours for rural calls. Harrold said it would also boost morale.

“So having this boost is going to be a big deal for those folks,” he said. “Not only initially when they find out about it but daily when they come in and there’s more hands available to do the work.”

The order, approved unanimously by the board, would add five full time deputies, two detectives and a sergeant position to the sheriff’s department. And it allocates $6.5 million for future improvements to Territorial Highway, which has Lane County’s highest rate of fatal crashes.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.