Josephine County isn’t a monster, it’s just ahead of the curve
J Ciaramella 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.
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.
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.”
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.