Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson is putting out an open letter to the voters of the county, warning of dire consequences if a jail operations levy isn’t passed in May. The letter was published on the Columbia County Sheriff Facebook page and on their website. In the letter, Dickerson expressed four main “fears” if the levy doesn’t pass. He says that “taking people into custody” on a wide variety of charges will cease, both for misdemeanors and felonies. Arrests will still be made, but local officers may not be able to find jail space for those offenders. Dickerson says that wrong-doers will be “emboldened to flagrantly violate the law,” since they know that they won’t be put in jail. He also says that “the criminal element” will be drawn to Columbia County. He claims that crime will increase as a result. Finally, Dickerson says that there will be a call to re-open the jail, but the costs to do that will be much more than if the people had just decided to fund the jail in the first place, citing the loss of federal prisoners that are currently helping to fund jail operations. Dickerson claims that these aren’t “scare tactics,” but a simply a statement of facts. Voters in Columbia County will be asked to pass a three-year, $2 million jail operations levy on the special election ballot in May. A similar four-year, $10 million levy was soundly rejected by Columbia County voters last November.