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Sheriff: Lack of funding & low staffing forcing department to respond to fewer calls

One Northern California sheriff says because his deputies are underpaid and the department is understaffed, residents will not see deputies responding to certain calls or services.

Posted: Aug 24, 2020 7:15 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2020 8:16 AM

TEHAMA COUNTY, Calif. - One Northern California sheriff says because his deputies are underpaid and the department is understaffed, residents will not see deputies responding to certain calls or services.

In a letter written by Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt, it points out they're rapidly losing deputies who've been on the force for several years.

Hencratt says they are going to other agencies that pay more.

Hencratt writes that the department has 127 employees and at last check on August 16, 2020, has 24 vacant positions.

Ten of those vacancies are deputies in patrol and investigations, but Hencratt says he cannot fill those positions right now.

And because of that, the sheriff's office says they will not be responding to at least 15 kinds of calls/services.

They include: 

  • Child custody court order violation
  • Incorrigible juveniles, unless there is associated violence
  • Extra patrols
  • Found property with a value of less than $250, unless it contains dangerous items and ID's such as driver's license, credit cards, etc.
  • Civil advice on non-criminal matters
  • Civil standbys, without the threat of violence
  • Alarm calls, without a responsible party or repeated alarms
  • Response to care homes, without violence
  • Not in progress thefts of burglaries with no suspects and no leads
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalisms
  • Public nuisance complaints such as barking dogs and loud music
  • Annoying or harassing phone calls
  • Trespassing calls without entry
  • Stray dog pickups, unless the dog is aggressive

Hencratt adds that the decision to suspend these services is so they can continue to provide staffing for high priority calls and once staffing levels return to normal they will revisit this issue.

Within the last year---the Tehama County Deputy Sheriff's Association says they lost their K-9 units to other agencies for better pay.

In the Facebook post, it mentions their patrol division is only 53% staffed. They are asking for the public's help in talking to the Tehama County Board of Supervisors. The association continues to write asking supervisors to give them a competitive salary. 

If you have any questions regarding this call the sheriff's office at (530)-529-7950.

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