McKinleyville, Garberbille Sheriff substations on the chopping block
The Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs Organization has released a multi-media blitz over budget cuts that could close substations and increase response time to emergency calls. They are asking residents to sign a petition to urge the Board of Supervisors to preserve funding for the substations.
Press Release, charts and radio ad below.
(Click chart to enlarge or download the pdf.)
DEPUTY SHERIFFS RELEASES RADIO AD VOICING CONCERNS OVER BUDGET PROPOSAL TO CUT PUBLIC SAFETY LEVELS TO LOWEST ON RECORD
Staff budget proposal would force closure of McKinleyville and Garberville Sheriff Substations
EUREKA – Members of the Humboldt Deputy Sheriffs Organization (HDSO) released a radio advertisement voicing concerns about Humboldt County budget staff’s proposal that would force the closure the McKinleyville and Garberville Sheriff Department Substations and cut 20 law enforcement officers. The cuts would leave only 73 deputies, sergeants, and investigators to cover Humboldt County’s 4,000 rugged square miles from the downtown Eureka headquarters.
“The budget cuts before the Board of Supervisors would reduce Humboldt County law enforcement patrols back to something resembling the Wild West,” said HDSO president Detective Steve Quenell. “We understand the county is facing tough economic times, but the Board of Supervisors has the same responsibility to protect the public as our sworn deputies. They must exhaust every possible option before cutting public safety coverage back to unprecedented levels.”
HDSO, the organization representing the rank and file law enforcement officers in Humboldt County, is particularly concerned about the proposed closure of sheriff ‘s department substations in both Northern and Southern Humboldt County.
“McKinleyville is much too large of a community with too many families and homes to not have a full-time law enforcement presence,” said Detective Quenell. He added, “Without the Garberville substation, families and businesses all over Southern Humboldt would almost be guaranteed an hour wait for law enforcement to respond to a call from their Eureka sheriff’s department headquarters – that is just not safe.”
HDSO represents the rank and file law enforcement personnel of Humboldt County. Their members have 25 different law enforcement responsibilities and cover one of the largest and most rugged geographical areas of the state, with populated areas spread throughout the region. The geography and demographics of the county already dictate thin law enforcement coverage in outlying areas, but the proposed budget cuts would exacerbate that problem.
Quenell noted, “With the Blue Lake and Trinidad Police Departments being recently disbanded, we have even more area to cover than ever before. And, now they want to cut 20 law enforcement officers, leaving us with only 73? There has to be a better way to solve the County’s budget without so dramatically threatening the public’s safety and the safety of the deputies left to patrol the community.”