COTTAGE GROVE — Last week, the Cottage Grove city manager’s office announced the temporary closure of the Cottage Grove Jail.
City officials cited staffing shortages as the catalyst for the closure. In the meantime, the Cottage Grove Police Department will be renting five beds from the Springfield Municipal Jail and transporting inmates to and from municipalities.
The city says there will be “no gap in the city’s ability to appropriately detain alleged violators.”
Jake Boone, Cottage Grove assistant city manager, says that during the staffing shortage the city will be outsourcing support from the Lane County Sheriff’s Department, Eugene Police Department and Springfield Police Department.
“We have other agencies helping out by patrolling so we don’t foresee any decrease in public safety activities,” Boone said. “They are effectively our beds, so we’ll still be deciding when people are released.”
When operating, the Cottage Grove Jail is managed and supervised by police officers.
“This is not a sustainable model and is not an appropriate use of our officer’s time, and as a result of low staffing we can’t maintain the supervision required,” said Jeff Groth, CGPD interim chief. “This decision will not have any negative impact on public safety, nor will the city incur any additional cost. This is a short-term measure and should not be considered an indication of any future planning.”
The short-term contact with the Springfield Municipal Jail will house sentenced adults in custody.
At the time of the closure, the Cottage Grove Jail housed one person awaiting trial and one person who had completed their sentence.
“In the meantime we will be lodging in-custody defendants at the Lane County Jail, and if need be in extreme circumstances we may still house them at the Cottage Grove jail,” Groth said. The amount paid for the use of the Springfield Jail is offset by the staff savings, he added.
Springfield Police officials say they have maintained multiple contracts throughout the history of the jail and it has not affected their ability to operate.