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Dec. 27, 2013
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When budget woes reduced the sheriff's department in one rural Oregon county to a bare-bones force, residents decided to take matters into their own hands -- creating armed patrol groups in defiance of local officials.
Their decision has raised safety concerns with the county government, which would prefer residents instead hike their own taxes to fund the hiring of trained deputies. But despite the risks, the move stands as a unique, some would say innovative, response to one of the country's most severe local budget crunches.