Sheriff ramping back up to 24-7 patrols for first time since 2010

EUGENE, Ore. - Sheriff's deputies will soon be on duty around the clock in Lane County for the first time since 2010.

A $4 million transfer of federal money from the county road fund will help the Lane County Sheriff's Office ratchet patrols back up from the 16-hour per day low hit last June, the sheriff's office said.

Step one starts in July with a move to 20 hours per day. The goal is to resume 24-7 patrols by October.

The sheriff will achieve the first step by shutting down the forest patrol unit and boosting the road deputy team from 16 to 21 people by July 6.

That is enough deputies to resume 24 hour patrols, but two planned retirements and another departure will slow down efforts to get staffing back up to around the clock levels, Captain Byron Trapp said. He expects full staffing and 24-hour coverage by October.

Trapp cautioned that this may be a one-year situation, since road money from the federal Secure Rural Schools and Communities is not guaranteed in the future. He worries funding could even cut the number of deputies out on the road below the current 16 at some point in the next few years.