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KLEA: Stabbed deputy highlights KCSO staffing issues

KCSO deputy recovering at home after stabbing
Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 22:18:40-04

BAKERSFIELD -- A deputy and a 27-year-old man are both recovering tonight after an alleged mental health crisis incident led to an officer involved shooting in northwest Bakersfield.

The Kern Law Enforcement Association says the incident highlights the staffing issues KCSO endures, which stems from a lack of funding.

In a press release, KCSO says the deputy responded to a "suspicious circumstances" call by himself. Reginald Anderson, whose identity was confirmed by family, then charged at the deputy and stabbed him with a knife.

Anderson was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, but is now in stable condition, according to KCSO.

The deputy received nearly 30 stitches on his arm according to KLEA President Richard Anderson, who says the same deputy was involved in a physical fight in the past, while responding to a call by himself.

"Unfortunately, my belief is one of my deputies are going to have to be killed in the line of duty before the [Kern County] Board of Supervisors do anything about this issue," Anderson said.

Between eight and 10 KCSO deputies are assigned to patrol Bakersfield from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., according to Richard Anderson.

Rosedale, where the officer-involved shooting occurred, typically doesn't have a deputy assigned to that area.

Reginald Anderson's aunt Jennifer Ezell told 23ABC News that she has served as correctional officer for over 20 years in the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation and was shocked that only one deputy responded to the call.

Since 1992, KCSO has lost over 40 percent of its deputies because of funding issues.