2010 August 22 Sunday
Ashtabula County, Ohio Short Of Sheriff's Deputies

So naturally I'm spending my Sunday night making lunches for the week and reading theeconomiccollapseblog.com. So I'm wondering are this blog's 18 signs that America is rotting right in front of our eyes accurate? So I decided to check one of more amazing items. Sure enough, Ashtabula County, Ohio with a population of about 100,000 has just one patrol car available for routine police patrol. This county has the largest land area of any county in Ohio. A few towns in it have separate police departments. But the county is still mostly covered by sheriffs - not covered as the case may be.

JEFFERSON -- In the ongoing financial crisis in Ashtabula County, the Sheriff's Department has been cut from 112 to 49 deputies. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners, serve warrants and other duties, only one patrol car is assigned to patrol the entire county of 720 square miles.

Come Peak Oil, what's life going to be like? You can look at the most hard-up places now to see your future.

The county can't afford to keep most of its criminals in jail.

The Ashtabula County Jail has confined as many as 140 prisoners. It now houses only 30 because of reductions in the staff of corrections officers.

All told, 700 accused criminals are on a waiting list to serve time in the jail.

The sheriff says he's able to keep murderers locked up at least.

A local judge has advised the good people of Ashtabula County to arm themselves.

Asked what residents should do for protection, Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey replied, " Arm themselves," and added, "We're going to have to look after each other."

It gets even better: Armed citizen posses.

"It's pretty intense times here in Ashtabula County," said John Kusar.

Kusar was part of a small group who located Lee Nash, 56, hiding in a camper on Kusar's farm. "I got outta my truck, I loaded my gun, I took my safety off, I walked up to the door and flung the door open with the barrel of my gun and he was laying in there, sleeping with a sawed-off shotgun next to him."

A lot of guys would jump at the chance to join a real posse. Many would pay for the experience. The sheriff ought to consider the idea of tourist posses. Could be a revenue source. Let visiting tourists pay slap on the hand cuffs. Or let them pay to drive criminals to jail and court in a real police patrol car. Sound like fun?

The sheriff's department does not have time to investigate burglaries.

And while the sheriff will still investigate homicides, he has little resources to investigate crimes such as burglaries.

Some victims "are going to have to call the insurance companies and deal with it," Johnson said.

Sounds like a market for well-trained guard dogs. German shepherds or Rotties or Doberman Pinschers? How about a relatively rarer Belgian breed? Then mic your house to record the sound of bones breaking as the dog bites hard on an intruder.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 August 22 10:10 PM  Civilizations Order Maintenance

Winston Smith said at August 23, 2010 6:39 PM:

Maybe they cut too deep here, but most jurisdictions should cut their police budget hard and deep. In many places cops earn north of $100k. And what do they actually do? Most of the time they enforce ridiculous traffic laws and do other revenue generating activity. Watch an episode of cops and you will see 3 or 4 cops take some loser with a joint or a vicodin pill to jail. I always wonder what each bullshit arrest costs. And God only knows what those tactical raids on small time weed dealers cost the taxpayers.

In fact, without the criminal justice, health care, military, and educational industrial complexes I wonder how the unemployment rate would stay below 50%.

Engineer-Poet said at August 23, 2010 7:57 PM:
Asked what residents should do for protection, Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey replied, " Arm themselves," and added, "We're going to have to look after each other."
Some of us have been doing this for a while.
Knusenott said at August 24, 2010 7:15 PM:

Nothing posses on horseback can't handle. Hound dogs too. Then string the fuckers up when caught. This would solve that little mystery crime issue happening at the Iowa State Fair too...

Big bill said at August 25, 2010 4:55 AM:

Well, it is nice to see regular folks in the community get involved in local policing again. What the police are hoping is that by ignoring the critical stuff and doing the trivial stuff they can scare the local population into raising taxes and bailing them out.

This will not work. Once a community is terrorized by criminals, good people leave, property values plummet and the police (the ones handing out parking tickets and doing other administrative junk) get fired.

Vigilantism will increase, assuredly, as the police presence declines. Not to African levels, one hopes. (see e.g. http://tinyurl.com/2u2v8ja) Certainly I wouldn't give a policeman a promotion for leading a lynch mob. Nor to Muslim levels. (see e.g. http://tinyurl.com/26ju7lh) I wouldn't want the police standing around watching people get beat to death.

But there will be an increase, and people will take a more active role in defending their communities.

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