Cutbacks in state spending are affecting local law-enforcement agencies. Fremont County sheriff Steve McDonald says people don’t realize the coverage is being stretched thin. He says the economics are affecting law enforcement in a big way and people don’t realize it — unlike TV cops, he says you can’t send a lot of cops out in a call in rural America. He says folks in Fremont County think he’s got ten officers to send out on every domestic-abuse call, thanks to the slick departments they see on hit TV shows, and the reality is that he’s got one or two guys per shift. McDonald says he doesn’t have a big staff to use for investigating things like locations of rural methamphetamine labs. He says the reality is that they don’t have the people to sit on it 24 hours a day, so if he does suspect a meth lab they do investigation over time. He says they just pulled a body out of the Missouri river, and taxpayers don’t realize his department had to pay a lot, for the investigation, the autopsy and the cremation of the body. The sheriff says the man’s body found in August by workers with the Corps of Engineers likely floated down from somewhere up the Missouri river, but the cost hit his department in Fremont County. That man still hasn’t been identified, nor has another man found in the river on the Nebraska side of the river this week.
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