What Happens when Governments Go Broke?

Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town, that they say they sleep with handguns close at hand. Gloria Shafer keeps her 9 mm gun under her pillow.

Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town.  – Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian

Josephine County isn’t a monster, it’s just ahead of the curve

 writes:  On the evening of Oct. 30, 2013, a car traveling down a highway south of Cave Junction struck and killed Jarred Houston, 21, and Robert Calvin, 41. Four months later, their case remains unsolved.

A week after the hit-and-run, Aaron Clouser, 39, was stabbed to death and left in the middle of the street. His case remains unsolved as well.

“Who else is going to protect you when your government can’t?”

The murders have left the small town seething with anger, but there are barely any detectives around to work the cases.

astoria-screwdriver

[Related: Astoria Oregon Woman attacks police car with screwdriver]

Economic woes have forced county governments in rural Oregon to slash law enforcement budgets to the point where police are almost non-existent. In Josephine County, where Cave Junction is, there are two patrol deputies tasked with covering 1,600 square miles.

[More: Drugs leave trail of ruin, fear in rural Oregon]

The sheriff’s office issued a warning last year for those in “potentially volatile” situations, such as those protected under a restraining order, “to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services.”

[See Also: Another armed citizen group starts patrolling Josephine County]

The Oregon State Police have shifted resources to the area to try and fill in the gaps. Some citizens have banded together into armed watch groups.

The rural areas in southern Oregon are lawless.

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