Town to use cameras, citizens to police streets at night

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A small southern Oregon town plans to enhance its diminished police presence by installing eight security cameras that a group of vigilant volunteers will monitor.

City Recorder Rebecca Patton told The Oregonian/OregonLive Monday that Cave Junction’s mayor and City Council recently approved the public safety proposal and are awaiting final authorization from Josephine County, which would provide the bulk of the project’s funding.

Declining timber revenues in the county and other parts of rural Oregon have triggered dramatic budget cuts in recent years, including in local law enforcement agencies. Voters have repeatedly rejected ballot measures that would increase taxes to fund police.

Sheriff’s deputies currently patrol Cave Junction during the day Monday through Friday. For several years the town has relied on a watch group made up of volunteers who haven’t had any type of background check to help thwart crime at night.

Patton says the town would likely require background checks for any citizen who monitors the cameras.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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