Could Faster Response Time Have Saved The Miller Family?

SHINGLETOWN, Calif. - A suspected murderer accused of killing his wife and two young daughters in their Shingletown home is still on the loose, or possibly even dead. The interrupted 911 phone that had authorities rushing to get to the rural mountain home raised the question: Could authorities have moved any faster?

The answer is: probably not.

Sheriff Tom Bosenko said the Shasta County Sheriff's Office said they simply do not have enough resources to have a deputy in all parts of the county.

Bosenko said the problem started back in 2009 when law enforcement agencies across the state were slammed with budget cuts. Their office lost 45 positions, including deputies.

While Shingletown normally has at least one deputy assigned, they haven't had a regularly assigned deputy for nearly eight months. Other deputies have left, or been promoted, making filling the position a difficult task.

While Sheriff Bosenko said he has deputies patrol the area often, none of them work or live there full-time, which is what the on-staff deputy should do. This leads to a longer response time, especially because the area of Shingletown alone covers a lot of ground. Bosenko said a response time of 20-30 minutes for a deputy living in the area is not uncommon and you could add even more time for a deputy coming in from the valley.

Luckily, the agency has recently hired someone to take over the resident deputy duties in Shingletown. She is currently in training and is expected to take over this summer.

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