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    Tehama County Sheriff’s Department To Cut All Daytime Patrols

    By Evan Symon, California Globe

    Staffing shortage, low recruitment led to major cut

    The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday that all daytime patrols would be cut in the county beginning November 20th, due to a major staffing shortage, leaving the County without a major law enforcement presence during the day.

    Located North of Sacramento between Redding and Chico, with a population of 66,000, Tehama County has been on the bubble regarding their Sheriff’s Department for year. Relatively low pay, cutbacks, coupled with minimal recruitment efforts and a rise in crime, especially in the County’s largest city, Red Bluff, have sent up red flags the last several years. Additionally, several housing units within the jail were shut down, the Dispatch Center was temporarily shut down, as well as the loss of 20 members of the staff within the last year, all led to the drastic announcement on Friday by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.

    “Beginning November 20, 2022, the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office will suspend day-time patrol services to its designated areas of responsibility within Tehama County,” said the Department in a statement on Friday. “This added reduction of services is necessary to manage a catastrophic staffing shortage throughout the agency.”

    “Over the past several years, the Sheriff’s Office has had difficulties with recruitment and retention of employees, which has been directly linked to pay disparities. A drastic rise in attrition, coupled with the inability to present enticing recruitment efforts have resulted in an unprecedented staffing shortage.”

    “Most recently, staffing shortages in the custody division have forced the Sheriff’s Office to reassign Deputies from the operations division to fill vacancies within the courts and jail facility. This unfortunate, but necessary restructuring has left the operations division with insufficient staff to sustain 24-hour patrol services.”

    CHP to partially takeover daytime duties for emergencies

    A follow-up post on Facebook laid the blame on the Tehama County Board of Supervisors, whom the Department says dragged their feet on the staffing and hiring issues within the Department.

    “We have spoken the Board for several years and warned them that staffing levels are too low,” added the Sheriff’s Association. “Rather than take swift and decisive action, they have delayed and allowed too many good employees to leave.”

    While the County won’t be without some daytime  law enforcement, with the California Highway Patrol agreeing to respond to emergencies during daytime hours and local police departments still patrolling as normal within their cities, the lack of a Sheriff’s Department response has many worried, especially in more rural areas not usually covered by police departments or the CHP.

    “A lot of citizens aren’t going to be able to receive a level of protection that they pay taxes for,” explained Jack Price, a lawyer who has been a part of many law enforcement union negotiations with local governments in the past, to the Globe on Friday. “In Tehama County, they offer $20,000 less than many Sheriff’s offices in the state. Yes, there are less people in Tehama County than most counties, but it also is just not competitive. At the same time, you can tell that the Department did not want to cut back on hours like this but had to, so the public suffers.

    “The County needs to fix this quick for the sake of their own citizens. We rarely see an entire day shift blink out like this, but it just goes to show just how bad things have gotten there.”

    Daytime patrols are due to end on November 20th in Tehama County, with no restart date being announced as of Friday.


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