The first clue as to how dangerous it is to live in Oregon’s Josephine County?
No one answers the phone at the sheriff’s office.
“Due to budgetary constraints,” says a recorded voice, “we are only able to answer the phone from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.”
In the cash-strapped county that is home to scenic Grants Pass, a special election was held this week asking voters to approve a tax levy so more deputies could be hired.
Last year, a woman was raped in her home after calling 911 and staying on the line for more than 10 minutes. She was told there were no officers available to help her.
Yet Josephine County residents said no to the extra property tax that would have cost about $300 a year for homes valued at $200,000.
Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says that defeat will force him to cut even more deputies — after laying off 65% of his staff last year.
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