Sheriff Vern Warnke says the staffing for patrol is now at seven officers, with three cars covering more than 2,000 square miles.
MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Merced County Sheriff's Office is facing a staffing shortage, and there's concern it might get worse.
Sheriff Vern Warnke spoke to the Merced County Board of Supervisors Tuesday about the lack of staffing in his office.
Warnke says they are down significantly in positions across the county and have no active gang enforcement.
People are going to other agencies, leaving holes in their departments.
The sheriff says it's hard to attract and retain people because of the dire state of the office.
"We got folks who don't want to be here based upon how they think they are going to be treated," Warnke said. "We got people who are leaving who were absolutely dedicated to wear this brand cause they don't see a light at the end of our tunnel."
Warnke also says the staffing for patrol is now at seven officers, with three cars covering more than 2,000 square miles.
He hopes the board of supervisors can help figure out changes to allow the county to continue to be safe.