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“In a rural community like this, we all know each other, and we’re all related.” I’m hoping that doesn’t mean what it seems to mean. ‘Cause Carol Dickson’s comment about the efficacy of her “virtual neighborhood watch” Facebook page for her little (i.e. huge) patch of southwest Oregon reflects a welcome new trend: citizens policing their own damn selves. Statists may call it vigilantism, but I call it a breath of fresh air. The AP tells the tale . . .

The sheriff’s department in a vast, rural corner of southwest Oregon has been reduced by budget cuts to three deputies on patrol eight hours a day, five days a week.

But people in this traditionally self-reliant section of timber country aren’t about to raise taxes to put more officers on the road. Instead, some folks in Josephine County, larger than the state of Rhode Island, are taking matters into their own hands — mounting flashing lights on their trucks and strapping pistols to their hips to guard communities themselves.

OK, so, back to that whole vigilante thing. After all, simply being legally responsible for their actions, unlike the police, isn’t enough. Nope. And to gin-up the appropriate level of outrage, the AP has to journey all the way to…where else? Mayor Bloomberg’s gun-free Big Apple.

Policing expert Dennis Kenney, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, says neighborhood watch efforts can be positive but turn into problems when volunteers “decide that instead of supplementing law enforcement, they are going to replace law enforcement. Then you cross potentially into vigilantism.”

Kenney said vigilantes tend to get “out of control — especially when people are armed.”

Except when they don’t.

Another CAC [Citizens Against Crime] Patrol member, Glenn Woodbury, an electrical supplies distributor, wears a .45-caliber automatic pistol in a shoulder holster when he goes out. He says he carries the weapon only for protection and that members of the patrol consider it their primary responsibility to gather information, such as a license plate number, that would allow deputies to make an arrest.

That said, the CAC could get out of control. You know; armed citizens could get out of control, like the Klan did after the civil war. Only gun control laws disarmed African Americans. In Oregon, not so much. In fact, not at all. Checks and balances people. Balance of power. It’s the American way.

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  1. The line from the powers that be is,”we all have to get involved to solve the crime problem” Until someone actually get’s involved and then we hear cries of “vigilante”. What a crock. What they really want is a monopoly on resources and tax dollars to feather their little nests.

  2. I call BS on this one.

    Citizens do NOT have the power to arrest. At the very best, they have the power to detain some one untill the authorities show up. And anyone with half a brain should know holding some one at gun point until the police roll up is a really bad idea. They probably have virtually no training, and they don’t have any resources that police officers do, such as holding cells, etc.

    Gun owners are in a fish bowl.

    Everyone is looking at us, all the time.

    Paranoid militia groups like this make gun owners at large look horrible.

    What is going to happen when they shoot some one?

    • Dr. Dave, you don’t even know anything about this group and you’re calling them a paranoid militia group. What the hell, dude?

    • Where do you get paranoid militia groups from this. I saw this earlier today in the news. These people have been left twisting in the breeze by law enforcement that has 3 deputies for the entire county. That’s 3 total, with no 24-7 coverage possible.

      All these people are doing is providing eye and ears for what little professional law enforcement is available to them. They’re carrying their guns yes, but that’s legal there.

      All citizens, even here in California have the right to make a citizen’s arrest, which I have done. But these people aren’t doing that.

      calling them a paranoid militia is doing them a disservice.

    • Did you read what was even written? They aren’t arresting people, just gathering intel for deputies. Even the army and marines use locals to get the good dirt on the BGs.

    • “I call BS on this one.

      Citizens do NOT have the power to arrest. At the very best, they have the power to detain some one until the authorities show up.”

      Call BS all you want.

      Just because some of us live in rural areas, doesn’t mean we are stupid and have no concept of the risks of detailing a felon, or other issues concerning active protection of our property or personal safety.

    • Wow!

      You are sounding like one of “them” Dr. Dave. So these men that have probably been shooting guns on a regular basis since before I was born don’t have the “training” to hold a gun on a criminal as part of a citizen’s arrest which is legal in EVERY state in the union…

      In fact the rules are the same for a citizen’s arrest and a law enforcement arrest, LE can be issued warrants that allow them to arrest without actually witnessing a crime is where it differs.

      And all the sudden they are a militia group? And of course if they were in a militia it would make them paranoid, right?

      There is also self-defense on your “what if they shoot someone?” question. A civilian making a lawful arrest has the same rights a LEO has making a lawful arrest and self defense applies in cases where a forcible felony is being committed.

      Other than that these guys are just observing and reporting while legally carrying firearms.

      What the hell, man?

    • Actually… They do have the power to arrest. It’s called a Citizens’ Arrest. Cant arrest for traffic violations, or crimes not committed in the immediate presence of the citizen, and the citizen can’t transport the subject- (that’s kidnapping) but citizens can preform arrests.

      As a private security guard in Alaska, a citizens arrest is the ONLY legal way for me to detain someone.

      Well- in my home state citizens can anyways- your milage may vary, I am not a lawyer.

      • Depends entirely on the states laws… But, as far as I’m aware most states only allow Citizen’s Arrests to be made if you’ve witnessed a serious felony, or someone must be stopped to prevent serious harm to others.

        More often than not you open yourself up to some serious litigation if you detain the person improperly, so if training is available in arrest procedure and so on get it, and be careful out there.

      • Can’t transport them?

        § 133.225¹
        Arrest by private person
        (1) A private person may arrest another person for any crime committed in the presence of the private person if the private person has probable cause to believe the arrested person committed the crime. A private person making such an arrest shall, without unnecessary delay, TAKE THE ARRESTED PERSON (emphasis mine) before a magistrate or deliver the arrested person to a peace officer.
        (2) In order to make the arrest a private person may use physical force as is justifiable under ORS 161.255 (Use of physical force by private person making citizens arrest). [1973 c.836 §74]

        It appears they can in fact transport a citizens arestee

        • It appears my understanding was flawed.
          The policy of the company I work for, is that when we make a Citizens arrest, we immediately detain the person using restraints, a second officer checks for correct and safe useage of restraints, and we contact the local LEO, and begin (a lot of) paperwork.
          Thanks for providing the code

    • Simple solution: if the county sheriff is truly interested in preventing crime and making sure there won’t be any “vigilantes” out there, all he has to do is administer an oath of office to each CAC volunteer, making them reserve deputies. Bingo – they are now law enforcement personnel with the power to arrest criminals. The sheriff and the county may not like the idea (surrendering power to the people!), but this is a common tactic used in Chicago, LA, SF, NYC and other big (anti-gun) cities to enable politicians, judges, friends of the politicians/police chief to legally carry a concealed handgun. They just make themselves and their buddies “reserve officers”. No reason this shouldn’t be applied in a rural area, except it would be somehow dangerous when not employed by hypocritical anti-gun politicians.

  3. It doesn’t sound like they’ve displaced police, they still rely on deputies to make arrests, etc. So far they have only filled a void.

    Did you mean “Only AFTER gun control laws…”?

  4. I am thinking of a topic analogous to this article and referenced issue.

    George Zimmerman – yep, that is it!!!!

    I echo the sentiment – what could possible go wrong?

    Another thought – putting lights on your vehicle and strapping a gun on open carry – hmmm . . . impersonating a police officer anyone?

  5. I think I would’ve chosen the name “Josephine County Watchmen” rather than Citizens Against Crime. The latter is dumb and uncreative while the former harkens back to the time in colonial America where volunteers took it upon themselves to protect their communities and relied on the hue and cry system.

    In rural places like this police aren’t all that necessary. I mean, their town literally has 750 people.

  6. Sounds like a positive effort to me. I’d be doing the same thing if the police got disbanded in SoCal. As long as the citizen patrol does not overstep the law and common sense, this seems like a good solution. I’d much rather have a citizen patrol than photo enforcement of speed and stop lights.

    (Although if one of these guys tried to stop me, I probably wouldn’t stop. They can write down my license plate number all day long if they want to.)

    • (Although if one of these guys tried to stop me, I probably wouldn’t stop. They can write down my license plate number all day long if they want to.)

      And that’s exactly where stuff like this can potentially get very messy once we leave the world of limited testing. As long as they remain in the role of being observers, or at most, get involved in a case of a crime against a person, no problem.

      But myself or my family will not be stopped, questioned, or impeded in any way, shape, or form by someone with absolutely no legal standing to do so. You gonna tell your wife, son, daughter to pull over just because some random group has granted themselves authority? Exactly, didn’t think so.

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with people doing whatever is necessary defending themselves from immediate attack. But history shows time and again that when groups are formed to look for trouble, they find it. And when they don’t find it, they make it.

      • “You gonna tell your wife, son, daughter to pull over just because some random group has granted themselves authority?”

        What do you think the government is?

  7. Some guy with a shoulder holster and tow truck lights zip-tied to his Ford Focus wants me to pull over and have a chat with him? Yeah that’s not going to be happening.

    • First of all, the article did not say they were making traffic stops. But in rural areas like where I was raised you had local law, sometimes constables that rolled in their own POV’s with plug in dash lights. If you ignored him he got on the radio and next thing you know the state troopers showed in force. And they weren’t happy with you running from the law.

      • But in every state that I’ve ever known those dash lights for public safety folks are red or blue – never ever yellow.

        Yellow is a warning light on every construction/service vehicle that’s does anything. I wouldn’t pull over for a yellow flasher for any reason in the world. Especially if they wanted me to.

        Also in most states, using a flashing red or blue while doing anything but being public safety and rolling code is at least a misdemeanor – and if memory serves – impersonating in several states.

        • Very true 16v. But if you’re passing thru small town or rural America and a guy in an old truck pulls behind you and hits a red or blue light what do you do?

          The article that I read earlier today made no mention of them attempting traffic stops or making arrests. Again, they’ve been left with almost no police protection. At the very least their presence will be of some deterence value. Even an old fud like me has a cell phone with a camera on it.

        • If he’s got a red or blue light I’ll assume he’s legit, though if it looks beat-up, I’m dialing the Highway Patrol as I pull over. I’ve lived in/been through tiny little burgs often enough to have a feel for what’s a real cop.

          If there’s no tin showing as he steps from the car, well I got vid on my cell phone too and I’ll be proceeding to the nearest legit authority well before he gets to my door, post haste.

          I’m not in anyway against the idea of them watching and even intervening if there’s an actual risk to a person. My concern is that these things always get out of hand (Stanford Prison Experiment) when people are left strictly to their own devices.

      • Actually, IIRC, if you are suspicious of the vehicle attempting to pull you over, you have every legal right to drive to a place that you feel safe, such as the nearest state patrol’s parking lot. Pretty sure a blue light doesn’t, in and of itself, give anyone legal muscle to force someone to pull over.

        Maybe Accur81 can clarify.

  8. Robert, this sort of thing always goes wrong. Fascism, the Klan, the Old Boys Network, lynchings, Kristallnacht, etc. Professional law enforcement was created in response to this.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Sir Robert Peel’s principles, first published and distributed to the London police force in 1829.

      Kristallnacht, 9-10 November 1938.

      Not that there weren’t other examples before 1938, but the Peelian principles of Peace Officers have been around for quite some time.

    • So now you’re comparing a few old dudes who report stuff to cops to Italian fascists, Klansmen, and thuggish Nazi stormtroopers?

      You have no credibility whatsoever.

      And for what it’s worth, professional law enforcement as we know it was was developed because London was too big and had no full time constables or investigative service.

      So in addition to being ridiculous you’re also factually incorrect.

    • Actually some of the events you listed were state sanctioned and state supported events (EG. Kristallnacht). Fascism arose in countries whose fiscal policies were amok and the people of those countries went along with those offering a solution by scapegoating minorities such as the Gypsies and the Jews and the Fascist were legal elected to run those countries. The formation of the Klan was initially a continuation of the War between the States, with it’s members being former members of the Confederate Army.
      So I’m not sure how having posse’s led to the list you stated.

  9. Good for them. Although it didn’t sound like the sheriff was as supportive as he could be, though that could be as a result of the way the AP article was written. I’m wondering if the sheriff could have gone the extra mile and provided training classes and deputized them as a volunteer deputy reserve force. Perhaps the volunteers would be willing to pony up the money to cover the additional liability insurance cost for the county. I always appreciate those willing to provide creative solutions.

    • And making them “reserve officers” would address many of the concerns here. They can go do what their stated aim was, and have the rights and responsibilities of being public servants.

      Though perhaps in Oregon that would require POST certification. Anybody know if that’s the case?


    .The best thing that could happen. I belong to a volunteer firefighter dept. here in NM; we routinely deal with potentially life threatening situations; this is simply an extension of this idea that “common” citizens can actually be trusted to take care of themselves and thier community in dangerous situations, so get a grip.

  11. It did not become common for police in the US to carry guns until the 1840’s. For the prior 150 years in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, for example, the authorities would call on the neighborhood populace to provide armed support if needed. “Citizens Arrest” is in places legal and in not an inefficient or useless concept if it prevents subsequent felonies, especially where low population density makes coverage by official police uneconomical. Its legality depends on the details of your state law. In Pennsylvania, for example, it is legal if the circumstances and behavior meet sensible requirements, see e.g. Kopko v. Miller, 586 Pa. 170, 185 (Pa. 2006). The consequences of an unjustified detention of another person are quite serious, obviously, and these risks dissuade most people from the effort. I suspect a felon is more likely to be harmed in his career by a rival than by a vigilante.

  12. 16V asked a similar question to mine. Couldn’t the sheriff deputize these fellows without pay and give them a day of training? Don’t let them deal with minor things like traffic violations and so forth, but give them enough to know what to do with major crimes.

    • It’s going to take a lot more than a day of training for them to appropriately respond to major crimes. There’s a ton of potential for this to go sideways, and if it does, I’m confident that it’ll make the news. The flip side is that I don’t see a problem as long as these guys do not over step their bounds. Criminals do go after easy targets, so an area with minimal law enforcement could very well get out of hand anyways. Why not give this a shot? If these guys commit a crime, I would hope that the local LEOs would investigate them and set them straight.

      • Agreed. If they keep it in check, and are very actively kept in check, nothing wrong with the idea.

        You’re right, it’s more than a day of training for anything resembling major crime, but I would agree with Greg that even a day or so of “orientation” on the “don’t you dare do this, or this, because if you do, I will make it my personal mission to legally bury you” would go a long way to keeping them self-motivated in doing something positive.

        Anybody know if POST cert is necessary for police reserves in Oregon?

  13. I don’t have much to say on either side of this… but there’s no friggen way you’d catch me involved with it. My house is my problem. My neighbors’ houses aren’t, sorry.

    Edited to add: I also have a potential problem with the potential yahoo who thinks he has the potential right to question me about what I’m potentially doing.

  14. People are getting a lot of exercise from jumping to all the conclusions on this one. The article I read simply stated that in a large rural area with nearly no law enforcement these citizens have gotten together to watch over their community. They aren’t doing traffic stops and they’re not interogating people, they haven’t made any arrests and when they see something wrong they pass the info to the sheriff’s office.

    As they are local residents they probably know the houses and people well enough that a casual glance will tell them if somethings wrong. You know, neighbers looking out for each other.

    A recurring theme on this site is government is too big and law enforcement is out of bounds. Now we see an area with little government and little law and instead of showing props some of us are wetting our panties and making up all sorts of as yet unrealised scenarios.

    A man wants to own a “Assault rifle” How many of you get the drizzles thinking he might go on a shooting rampage with it and want an AWB ban. Same attitude you’re showing these “vigilantes”.

    • Here’s why we’re jumping – we’ve seen this movie before.

      We’ve witnessed how hard it is to keep our big-city theoretically accountable police departments under control. We know what happens even with the legit police in small towns/counties run by the more modern version of Boss Hogg.

      We also are pretty darn sure that “frontier justice” wasn’t always very “just”. Because it wasn’t.

      Nobody seems to have any probs with them being watchmen and phoning in their observations. The problem is that once guys start slapping logos and lights on their cars, they’ve already mentally past that limit.

      Civilization is a very thin veneer. I’m not going to support shaving it off, no matter who’s side is doing the shaving.

      • What option do these people have? Hole up in their house and hope it’s their neighbers getting hit instead of them? According to the article I read they have a total of 3 deputies for an area the size of Rhode Island. They didn’t declare independence, the government walked out on them.

        You have any better ideas? Other than the staple on this site of move.

        • “They didn’t declare independence, the government walked out on them”

          The OR state government is out of funds providing free health care, education, and other aid to illegal aliens.

        • I’m not in any way, shape, or form, suggesting they “hole up and hope”.

          But doing the math, they have 3 deputies for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s 24 hour a day coverage, 5 days a week. So there’s 48 hours to cover. Let’s be real, the 83K pathetically cheap btards in this county should each just pony up one whole frakkin’ dollar a year, which will pay for another deputy and his overhead. $1.50 and we also have the overtime for more than 24/365 coverage.

          Volunteers can help with admin, special event, and grunt work. The “government that abandoned these people” was themselves.

          Beyond that, 1600 square miles is 40×40 of low crime, home owner, ok median income folks. Yes, they need more than public safety than they seem to have. No, cheaping out over literally $5 a year per person to add 3 more deputies is not acceptable.

          Neither is setting in motion a plan that already looks really sketchy from the onset.

        • 16v, do we know that it was these people’s own cheapness that got them into this fix? Are their tax dollars being spent wisely or wasted?

          Condemming an entire county as cheap sounds a mite harsh. Maybe they’ve had years of crap service and no value for their taxes. I’ll side with the citizens until they actually break a law.

        • jwm, Yes actually we do. They voted down the money to pay for it back in June of this year.

          Google up “Josephine county law enforcement levy” and you can read the dozens of articles about it.

          Look, they may have a some valid reason like rampant corruption to defund it. But they aren’t saying so if they do. I’d even have no problem if they were striking some sort of moral blow against the “do your 20-30 and get a massive pension and lifetime benes” regime. But they aren’t. They just don’t want to pay the extra chump change even per property valued at over $200K, per year.

          The feds fund cool toys with borrowed money, but “middle of nowhere” county deputy has always been paid just this side of Applebee’s asst manager money, and are controlled directly by the county taxpayers where they work.

          It has precisely sweet FA to do with immigrants, ER visits, or welfare queens.

      • I get the whole “Slapping logos And lights on their cars” worry.
        I work for a private security company in Alaska- we have contacts up here where we act very similarly to Police- but we’re not.
        One of the hardest things for me to impress onto our new officers is that we are *NOT* cops. Don’t talk like them, don’t act like them, don’t pretend to be them.
        Most private security is observe and report- the ” please stop or I am going to have to ask you to stop again”, what my company does up in Alaska more reflects making active arrests. Because of this, there’s a running joke at start of shift briefs- “remember, we’re not cops. If in doubt, call a real cop. That’s why you have phones.”

        I’ve personally reprimanded and fired individuals who can not seem to remember we have no more rights then anyone else, and that everyone has civil rights.

        As long as these volunteers keep a level head on them, observe and report, and only intervene to protect life or property, they should be alright. The figures in my own neck of the woods are that the local CLEO thinks we save him about four full time officers- we deal with low level problems and assist local chronic inebriates to points of care, like hospitals- and sometimes unfortunately the local drunk tank.

        I hope everyone assoiated with this remembers their role.

      • You can enforce charges of excess against a private citizen much more quickly than you can against a cop.

        The private citizen who goes over the line has no assumption of sovereign immunity. They’re on the hook immediately, and with their own money for a defense.

        • Which is 100% true. The problem is the scenario that gets us to that place. An innocent person may end up quite dead, and regardless of whether Ricky Ranger spends the rest of his life broke and incarcerated, the fact remains that an innocent man died.

          And that is what matters.

          If Jake in Alaska were running their program with that kind of discipline, then I’d not be terribly worried. The problem is, that one can readily see from the statements of the participants, let alone the lights and logos, that is not how this is going down…

        • The difference is this: A person ends up dead and the private citizen who unjustly shot him ends up in prison.

          In the “professional police” scenario, the cop is put on “paid administrative leave,” the taxpayers fund any legal defense and the taxpayers fund any civil judgement handed down to the afflicted. The case is invariably decided in favor of the cop, who stands behind sovereign immunity. The cop remains free and goes on to continue doing that which he does – abuse the rights of citizens.

          Just how is this “professional law enforcement” that enjoys such immunity an improvement over someone actually being accountable and punished?

        • I am no badge licker. The current crop of law enforcement/peace officer/whatever, does not get much support from me, especially because I know way too much about what really happens.

          That said, until a few Ricky-Ranger-self-annointed- guardians-of-whatever-they-believe-to-be-right are publicly hung for their transgressions, I fear what they will do in the name of frontier justice even more than a sworn cop.

          When the “law” is a bunch of folks who all know each other, and you “ain’t one of them” you have very little chance, even under the “official” system. A bunch of guys with no one who will ever testify against them because they all know each other and are related?

          Good luck…

        • You already have a bunch of guys who won’t testify against each other, and they all have sovereign immunity and public-paid legal teams.

  15. It blows me away that some people think there is a greater chance for these folks to “get out of hand” than for the police to do so. I’ve seen enough examples of police misconduct to know better. People are just people. Being a cop doesn’t mean anything.

  16. If i remember correctly (so please do not take this as an absolute, i havent looked into doing reserve programs in over two years now, i am kind of rusty) the DPSST (did i get the letters right?) approves reserve officers based on agency approval/testing of said candidate. I dont remember what is required once they are certed as a reserve with the state.

  17. If i remember correctly (so please do not take this as an absolute, i havent looked into doing reserve programs in over two years now, i am kind of rusty) the DPSST (did i get the letters right?) approves reserve officers based on agency approval/testing of said candidate. I dont remember what is required once they are certified as a reserve with the state.

  18. Boy, it sure it entertaining reading a bunch of people who live in comfy cities or leafy suburbs shoot off their mouths about what people in rural counties should and shouldn’t do.

    As someone who has lived in the rural west for a couple decades now, in counties where the population density is less than 1 person per square mile, and where the wait for the sheriff’s deputies to show up could be upwards of an hour … y’all who haven’t lived in such rural areas might want to think before posting…. Because you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about.

    And as for the charge that the citizens are being too cheap to hire more law enforcement? Yea, that’s pretty funny. Just this past week, Milliman, an actuarial accounting firm, looked at the 100 largest public pension systems and found them underfunded by $1.2 trillion. Moody’s estimated the shortfall at $2.2 trillion this past July. Most of the large public pension funds are using 8% as an annual rate of return on their investments in their models, but they’re actually making less than half of that return per year in the last four years. Most of you who have “voted” for “adequate” law enforcement coverage probably don’t have fully funded pensions and medical/retirement benefits either. You’re talking out both sides of your mouths – you want us rural folks to run our public accounts as far in the red as you are.

    In rural areas of the US, people have to shift for themselves. There isn’t enough money to hire “professional” this, that and some other public employee, because public employee compensation has gotten completely out of control and many public employee pay rates are set at the state level. In the counties I’ve lived, many public employees are part-time and have no benefits. Some of the work (eg, weed district employees) is seasonal. Budgets in rural areas are prone to boom/bust cycles, because most rural counties depend on ag and resource extraction for their economic base. Every new legislative or policy push by environmentalists makes these industries less and less profitable or viable. In some counties where the USFS or BLM controls huge tracts of their land, the PILT payment system from the Feds comes nowhere close to making up for the loss of real economic activity on that land.

    BTW, if you don’t know what the PILT system is, then you probably should stop trying to comment on any rural county public employee budget issues in the western US.

    • 30 minutes? You must live close to town.

      I don’t disagree that there’s all sorts of underfunded pensions that can never be paid without continuous Nixon/Carter inflation, I’ve been hammering that (Quixotically) for 20 years. I’ve also lived in the boonies, and even a priority call is a 20+ minute response time. Non-priority? We’ll get there in the next few days.

      Still I get concerned about this particular set of facts. I’ve read your posts and believe you understand science, so all I ask that you look at their particular set of circumstances. This is not rural NM/AZ/NV/MT, there are over 50 people per sq mile in this county. They ain’t broke, most own homes and land. Their average and median income isn’t terrible for the boonies.

      I’m not saying turn them into NYPD with $60K+ pensions and benes after a mere 20 years. That will never work – nor does it happen in the world of zippo-land county deputies. But even pushing it up to $100K per deputy per year, that covers salary, benes, retirement (on a reasonable plan) and overhead costs of car and whatnot. That’s literally $1.25 per year per person in this county.

      • And in counties where the economic base has been laid to waste because logging has been constricted by the environmentalists (remember the spotted owl?), A mere $1.25/person sounds small… until you start seeing that only a few people actually have the means to pay it.

        Take children off that $1.25 and hand that expense to their parents. Since the local taxation will likely be ad valorem, you can now put it on only those who own real and personal business property. Oregon doesn’t have a general sales tax, so that route is out.

        By the way, the county in question is downsizing their local government for more than just their law enforcement:

  19. Assuming these chaps know where their roles should end and law enforcement’s begins, it can work because of the demographics – an older, homogenous, settled community.

    I’ll be cautiously waiting to see what parallels to the Minuteman Project develop.

  20. I’m actually fascinated by the historical parallels of this article.
    In the days of old many rural communities had little or no professional law enforcement available. If an issue came up the local “vigilance committee” would be called together to capture and hold the criminal until the area circuit court justice could come around (as they traveled their circuit) to hear the case.

    There were rules (checks and balances) that the vigilance committee had to obey or risk being penalized by the same justice. That system worked pretty well for a fairly long time.

  21. Kenney said vigilantes tend to get “out of control — especially when people are armed.”

    You mean like the bad apples in law enforcement that get out of control? There are so many of them that there are websites now which list the thousands upon thousands of incidents of law enforcement officers breaking the law.

    Here’s the difference. Because of qualified immunity and the Blue Wall, a law enforcement officer has much greater ability to misbehave and expect to get away with it. A citizen on the other hand actually stands to lose something if they misbehave. I am not worried about the situation in Oregon. I like it so much I might try to start the same thing where I live.


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