County considers volunteer crime-scene specialists

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Associated Press

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 1:06 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The Josephine County Sheriff's Office in Oregon is understaffed and desperate for help, so authorities are mulling whether to turn to local volunteers to help process crime scenes.

The Daily Courier of Grants Pass reports (http://bit.ly/1jZfJtx ) the program is still under consideration and there's no concrete timeline for its implementation.

The sheriff's office is reeling from layoffs after cuts to the county public safety budget. Federal timber payments dwindled in Southern Oregon and voters rejected two county public safety levies.

The program would train volunteers on how to assist with background investigations and the processing of burglaries and certain other crime scenes.

District Attorney Stephen Campbell says he supports the concept of volunteers but is worried that evidence collected by unsworn volunteers could be vulnerable in court.

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Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com

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