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California county stops all daytime police patrols due to staffing problems

"Beginning November 20, 2022, the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office will suspend day-time patrol services to its designated areas of responsibility within Tehama County. This added reduction of services is necessary to manage a catastrophic staffing shortage throughout the agency."

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A county in California with one of the highest crime rates in the United States is suspending all its daytime patrols due to a "catastrophic staffing shortage."

Tehama County, approximately 120 miles north of the state capital Sacramento, is ending the patrols because staff keep leaving and because salaries are comparatively low, according to a press release from the county Sheriff's Office.


 

"Beginning November 20, 2022, the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office will suspend day-time patrol services to its designated areas of responsibility within Tehama County. This added reduction of services is necessary to manage a catastrophic staffing shortage throughout the agency," the press release, posted to Facebook, began.

"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 reads. The average salary for a deputy in Tehama County is between $52,000 and $62,000, an average of $20,000 less than deputies can make in nearby Solano County, the Daily Mail reports.

There are concerns that this move could exacerbate the county's already massive crime rate, which is already significantly higher than the national average.

The county has a population of about 66,000 and covers an area of close to 3,000 square miles. Its most populated city, Red Bluff, has a population of just under 15,000 and has a violent crime rate higher than 97 percent of the country.

In recent years, deputies have been needed to fill vacancies in county courts and jails. According to the sheriff's office, "this unfortunate, but necessary restructuring has left the operations division with insufficient staff to sustain 24-hour patrol services."
 

"A drastic rise in attrition, coupled with the inability to present enticing recruitment effort have resulted in an unprecedented staffing shortage," the letter continued. "Most recently, staffing shortages in the custody division have forced the Sheriff’s Office to reassign Deputies from the operations division to fill vacancies within the courts and jail facility.

In the meantime, the sheriff's office has been in talks with the California Highway Patrol to try and receive help with daytime emergencies in the county.

"While the final details are still underway, the CPH will be responding to life threatening emergencies during the hours that [we are] unable to provide patrol services," the Sheriff's Office said in its press release. "[We are] committed to continuing all recruitment efforts and working towards restoring patrol  services, when staffing levels permit."

Night-time patrol in the county has not been affected.
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