TEHAMA CO., Calif. - The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office is now going to be closing its main office every Friday starting on April 23.
The office is making it clear that this closure will not directly affect their ability to respond to calls at this point, but since they are so short-staffed, the front office needs Friday to catch up on work.
“The reality is we have ran out of game pieces to really play the game with,” said Captain Dave Kain at the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.
This is not the first instance of having to make major adjustments to their operations within the past months.
In August 2020 they cut their response services from certain calls like shoplifting and vandalism.
Captain Dave Kain tells Action News Now that the reason for this recent closure is the same – a lack of staff and funding.
"It's very difficult for us to and challenging for us to recruit and hire people with the current compensation levels,” said Kain.
In fact, the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office said it is losing more positions than it is gaining.
Kain said they were down to 19 open positions in March 2020, and after a full year of recruiting, testing and hiring, they dropped to 22 open positions in March 2021.
Due to the lack of competitive pay, they are losing staff to not only other counties but even places less than 10 minutes away, like the Red Bluff Police Department.
At these surrounding agencies, Kain said that they can sometimes make at least an extra $10.
"We have had to reduce the level of qualifications for some of our positions in order to adequately find people for those positions," said Kain.
The front office will still be able to take phone calls on Fridays.
Krystal Sanchez Castañeda, who came into the office today, said this will not be the same.
"You're able to just go in there and speak to an actual person,” said Sanchez Castañeda. “And not only have your daily human interactions, but also it just facilitates the whole process."
Without an increase in pay and benefits, the Sheriff's Office is not sure how long these doors will be closed on Fridays.
"The reality is that you can only get to be so short before you kind of break,” said Kain.
Action News Now reached out to all five of the Tehama County Board of Supervisor members, and are still waiting to hear a response to how they plan to address this pay and short staffing.