Sheriff's sub-station closes due to budget cuts

Posted at 6:36 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-19 21:36:16-05

In the sleepy farm town of Buttonwillow, residents are growing louder over concerns of public safety.

Joann Lund works at the Buttonwillow branch of the Kern County Library and says the sheriff's presence has always been comforting.

“I think there needs to be police presence out here for the store owners and such just so there is a knowledge to everybody that there is cops here,there is protection. Just because we're a little town out in the middle of nowhere, please don't take our only protection away,” said Lund.

Due to the drop in oil prices the Kern County Sheriff's office was forced to take the one percent cut, eliminating the sub-station positioned near many businesses.

Suriziday Benitez works at the grocery store across the street from the sub-station and sys if they ever had problems, they were conveniently located.

“We're here in front of them and if something happens we just call, we just go right away to the office. But now we have to make a call for them to get here and it's going to take about two hours or maybe more,” said Benitez.

While business owners are concerned with the thought of a higher crime rate, Lund worries about children in the area.

“The kids coming home from school, or walking around in the evening's...where's there protection? Where are they going to go if something bad happens,” said Lund.

Regarding the closure, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood says that,"this is just a Band-Aid and come July this is going to be a lot more devastating then what we are dealing with today."