One rural community in northern California reports that it is unable to rely on local police in case of a crisis. This is due to staffing shortages so severe that the sheriff’s department has cancelled daytime patrols.
“Unless you are bleeding or dying, you won’t get a sheriff or any other respondent,” Tehama County resident Cheyenne Thornton said to the Guardian.
Tehama County is home to nearly 66,000 residents and lies halfway between Sacramento and Oregon. Rancho Tehama Reserve is located within the county. Residents complain that calling 911 can lead to long waits and dead ends.
“People are willing to take matters into their own hands. They are tired of not receiving any help. “It’s like a ticking bomb out there,” Thornton, a local homeowner’s association office manager, said to the Guardian.
NATIONAL RNING SHORTAGE HITTING RURAL AMERICA HARDEST
“You feel like nothing matters out here, you’re all alone.”
The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office can be found approximately 25 miles away from the town. It has been suffering from a severe staffing crisis for many years. This has become worsened in recent years when other police departments across America reported continuing staffing problems due to 2020’s defunding of the police movement.
THESE OFFICIAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS SEE SOME OF THE WORST WORKING SHORTAGES IN 2023
The sheriff’s office cancelled all daytime patrols in November due to a “catastrophic staffing shortfall” resulting from a “drastic increase in attrition coupled with inability to present attractive recruitment efforts.”
Sheriff David Kain stated to the outlet that he has never had to suspend dayshift patrol. “I don’t know if people truly understand how painful this is.”
The Public Policy Institute of California data shows that there was a drop in patrol officers between 2008 and 2021. However, some locals claim that police shortages are not new.
VIRGINIA’S LARGEST POLICY DEPARTMENT BATTLING STAMPING CRISIS: “WE’VE NEVER SEEN THIS LEVEL” OF A SHORTAGE
“I moved to this area in 1978. The first question I asked was: ‘What kinda service do you provide in the rural areas?’,” County Supervisor Bill Moule stated to CalMatters in December. “The sheriff was a big guy who had been sheriff for a while. He looked at me and said, “Son, get a shotgun, and a dog.” It is no different today than in 1978.
Locals say that arming yourself in case of tragedy or chaos is the norm. Some people ignore the fact police are not available at all.
Chris Foster, a Rancho Tehama resident, told the Guardian that he can protect himself and his family whether he shoots you in the a—- or beats you with a stick. This is our country. My 9-year old son and I are used to people carrying guns. You have to protect your safety and your property. It’s the same everywhere else.
Dave Hencratt (ex-sheriff) said that low retention and recruitment rates in law enforcement were to blame for the failure to pay wages back to him, as a comment to local media.
CALIFORNIA GUNSMAN WAS A FREQUENT SUBJECT TO POLICE CALLS
Dave Hencratt stated that they run a “supermarket of employees” for other agencies last year. “When Redding police say, ‘You know, chief, we are down officers’ – he said, ‘Well, you can go down to Tehama County, go down the officer aisle, and pick some’. That’s exactly what they do. They cherry-pick our people.”
The county is also experiencing an increase in violent crime, with some residents citing just a few examples. Thornton mentioned an incident last year in which a man called the homeowners’ association, threatening to kill all of them, but the sheriff’s department was unable to respond.
Thornton stated to the Guardian that there has been no response from law enforcement. “We recorded the threat. We can only hope for the best and hope they don’t follow through with their threats. It’s a completely different world here.
CALIFORNIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE SUSPENDS DAYTIME TROL SERVICES BECAUSE ‘CATASTROPHIC STAFFING SHORTAGE’
Rancho Tehama was the site of several shootings in 2017. One gunman committed suicide. Five people were killed and fourteen others were injured in the shootings. Many residents still remember the incident.
Local media reported that the sheriff’s office had visited the gunman 21 times before the crime. Some residents filed lawsuits against local media reporting that they were not sufficiently protected from the gunman.
Residents stressed to Guardian that despite the absence of police in the neighborhood, they are hard-working people and that the community is not different from other parts.
Michelle Abrams, a clerk at a local gas station said that “it gets a bad reputation.” It’s a town that people consider a hub for tweaker theft, but it is actually home to hardworking people. They come in tired and dirty from working on the ranches and fields.
Click Here To Get FOX NEWS App
Fox News Digital attempted to reach the sheriff’s department but was unsuccessful.