Grants Pass, OR -

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is understaffed and desperate for help, so they're turning to local volunteers to help process crime scenes.

The Daily Courier of Grants Pass reports the program is still under consideration.

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 will train volunteers on how to assist with background investigations and the processing of burglaries and certain other crime scenes, including dusting for fingerprints, taking photographs and collecting other evidence.

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