Via email from Chet (this blog post).
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.
Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey was asked what residents should do to protect themselves and their families with the severe cutback in law enforcement.
“Arm themselves,” the judge said. “Be very careful, be vigilant, get in touch with your neighbors, because we’re going to have to look after each other.”
Ashtabula County gun dealers and firearms instructors tell WKYC their business has really picked up since the Sheriff’s Department cutbacks began some months ago.
Do the math. 49 deputies divided by 4 (3 shifts plus vacation, sick leave, weekends, etc.) and you have about 12 deputies for 720 square miles or about 1 deputy for every 60 square miles. Pull out duties like transportation of prisoners and court duty and you are probably talking nearly 100 square miles for each deputy on duty.
Interesting times ahead as the financial crisis worsens.