Umatilla Sheriff's office spread thin

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on October 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- The Umatilla County Sheriff's Office is spread so thin that there are times when only one deputy is covering the county's 3,231 square miles and also occasions when no deputy is on duty.

The East Oregonian reports that citizens have complained about slow responses times when they call to reported break-ins and other crimes.

Umatilla County Undersheriff Terry Rowan, who will become the new sheriff in 2013, said the office should be taking cases, regardless of how small. But he says it's no secret the department is significantly understaffed. He says the situation isn't likely to change without more money.

Rowan says the standard in police work is to have about 1.5 to 1.8 officers per 1,000 people. The ratio for the department is closer to one officer per 3,000 people.

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