Multnomah Co. prosecution suffers, mayor criticizes decisions | kgw.com | KGW Local News | Portland, Oregon PORTLAND, Ore. -- The economic crisis has delivered a blow to Multnomah County's criminal justice system. For the first time, the county cannot afford to prosecute dozens of illegal behaviors at a criminal level. Minor variations of offenses such as drug possession, hit-and-run and shoplifting will no longer carry the threat of jail time. In his 29 years as District Attorney, Mike Schrunk says he's never had to do this. The County's Board of Commissioners has cut his budget to the point where he has to redraw the line on what his department can and cannot afford to prosecute. Even those suspects resisting arrest will have no threat of jail time. It'll be like getting a speeding ticket. "In a perfect world would we do this? No," said Schrunk. "But we don't live in a perfect world." Portland Police Chief Mike Reese is telling his officers to forge ahead and make arrests as they always do. It'll be up to Schrunk, then, to review which cases are serious enough to afford prosecution. "If there isn't the capacity within the system to prosecute people and hold them accountable," said Reese, "it makes the entire system a failure and we're very concerned about it." "This is unacceptable," said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. "I think there are savings to be achieved." Adams says the County is missing an easy opportunity to cut its river patrol unit and shift that funding to Schrunk's prosecution efforts. The City, says Adams, has been offering to take over river duties for years. "The County needs to focus on its core services and prosecution is a core service," said Adams. Maybe this could have been avoided? What to do if and when it gets worse?