Meeting Notes: July 14, 2015
Crime Update – Since May 17, 2015, ironically, the night of the Levy failure, there have been 8 homicides in our County (#8—the person who was shot Tuesday night July 14th trying to enter a young family’s residence). In a County of a population of only 83,000, this is another sign that a lack of funding in local law enforcement programs is having very real negative consequences. If we don’t solve crime problems while they are small, the problems will grow into much larger problems. We are unfortunately starting to see very serious impacts of cutbacks in the criminal justice system.
Sobering Center – Bill Landis
After nearly three years of work by this separate non-profit organization that began around the time SOS began, the Sobering Center is going to be a reality! In the last legislative session, a law was passed that would limit liability for Sobering Centers, recognizes Sobering Centers as individual entities separate from “treatment centers” (they are not really treatment centers but they try to direct people to treatment), and passed a budget allocation of $6 million in the next biennium to support the development and operation of Sobering Centers around the state. The Grants Pass Sobering Center was given $500,000 of this allocation and is now on the fast track to be built and operational by as early as January 2016! The Center will serve all of Josephine County and will be a public-private partnership with law enforcement.
This is a huge win for Josephine County as this is a way to hold people that are a danger to themselves or others due to intoxication or heavy drug use and is a significantly less expensive option that using the hospital and adult jail. There will be 14 beds in the GP Sobering Center and people can be held for up to 24 hours to sober up. Other sobering centers suggest that 60% of those that use the center are first time uses and these centers are very effective in changing behavior and helping to curb DUI, public intoxication, etc.
Presentation by the Lottery Local Control Committee
Josephine County would likely receive over $5 million per year from this initiative (WITHOUT RAISING TAXES!) and it could be used for our County’s greatest needs…we just need to get enough signatures to place it on the ballot but WE NEED YOUR HELP both in gathering signatures and finding financial donations to assist with the signature gathering campaign! Continue reading SOS Meeting Notes – July 14, 2015
Meeting Notes: June 23, 2015
We have a MUST WATCH new video compilation in the SOS video series “The Cost.” We played this video on “the big screen” to start the meeting. Please visit the SOS site or watch it directly on the YouTube link here:
This piece will be used for seeking partnerships, grants, and general SOS education and awareness activities. We will also use this as a showcase piece to try and attract partnerships to do additional video work and perhaps a full documentary. Please share this video on your social media pages – the more eyes we have on our crisis and the more awareness, the easier it will be to come together and achieve our mission: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”
1) Crime update – we need to come together and focus on solutions that are in our control now more than ever. Stats and real stories are pointing towards our crime and law enforcement crisis getting worse…some more data to follow over the next month. We need to be more vocal in lots of ways because this situation is unacceptable!
2) Our Mission Has Not Changed, Update on the CITIZEN-Voiced Plan – From early on we knew there is no single silver bullet here….we remain focused on the series of solutions that will come together and get our County back on its feet.
We would like to formally invite you to the Mining Jobs Development Summit. This event is taking place on Thursday the 9th of July, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Location is the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass, OR. It is free to attend, but registration is required. You can register at
SWORminingjobs.com or call (541) 244-2627 or email SWOMiningSummit@gmail.com.
Discussion will include:
– History of Mining in Southwestern Oregon
– Economic Benefits of Mining: How SW Oregon Can Prosper Again
– How We Are Trying to Fix the Problem
– Discussion & Questions
We have secured the following Speakers:
-Rich Angstrom, Director of Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Producers Assoc.
-Dave Hunnicutt, Executive Director of Oregonians in Action
-Representative Carl Wilson, Oregon House of Representatives
-Senator Herman Baertschiger, Jr., Oregon Senate
-Tom Wiley, Geologist, Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries for the State of Oregon.
-And many more…
SW Oregon Mining Jobs Development Summit
We would like to thank the following sponsors: Oregon Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association, Sunny Valley Sand and Gravel, Inc., Copeland Paving, Oregonians in Action, Grants Pass Water Lab, Roley’s Pacific Supply, Securing Our Safety (SOS), Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce, and Armadillo
Our next meeting shall be Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at the Wild River Brew Pub in Grants Pass located at 533 NE F Street in Grants Pass from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM.
June 9, 2015 MEETING NOTES:
The meeting opened with some thoughts about some of the derogatory things that have been said and written about people and groups such as SOS and Community United for Safety, who are trying to restore funding to our Criminal Justice System and sincerely trying to make Josephine County a safer place. We agreed that our Mission has not changed: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.” This effort has never been about anything other than making our home safer and shining the light on our Josephine County children and elders, whose victimization is going unnoticed—whose voice is being ignored.
As long as Josephine County is our home, we must take action to address our current failings as a community.
Cliff Thomason spoke (representing the Lottery Local Control Committee – separate political committee)
“How’s Your Retirement Going?”
We asked Dave, retired law enforcement officer that moved to Josephine County, “How’s your retirement going?” This is one of many individual parts of the independent video series by SOS called “The Cost.”
May 30, 2015
Oregon House Revenue Committee Members
CC: Oregon State Representatives and Senators
Re: HJR 21 and Public Safety Fiscal Emergency in Josephine County
Dear State Representatives,
The Board of Directors of Securing Our Safety has approved this letter regarding HJR 21. By now, you are all aware of the fiscal crisis that exists in Josephine County, Curry County, and to a lesser extent other counties in Oregon. In short, this crisis has been brought about by the gradual dissolution of the O&C agreement and its successor, the Secure Rural Schools Act, followed by the repeated failure of local attempts to increase property taxes to compensate. We need not review the history here, but for representatives and senators that are from the Metro and other areas of Oregon, what the rural O&C Counties have experienced in recent years would be the equivalent of the Federal Government saying Nike and Intel can no longer operate in Oregon.
It’s the results that are important: the drastic reduction in funding for vital public services, particularly public safety and criminal justice, in these O&C counties. The impact has been a dramatic increase in the negative impacts of crime, along with an equally dramatic reduction in the ability of the County public safety services to respond in a timely or effective way. Even in cities like Grants Pass, which have continued to fund their separate public safety services through city-level property tax levies, the results have been felt, since jail capacity and district attorney staffing have been cut significantly, our award winning County Juvenile Justice Shelter and Detention building has been closed, leaving offenders and at-risk youth back on the streets within days or hours. Outside the City limits of Grants Pass, Josephine County currently has less law enforcement than third world countries and this is unacceptable.
Securing Our Safety (SOS) is a non-profit that formed in Josephine County in 2012. Our goal is to help our County identify solutions that will enable our community to provide and fund the services that are required for a “secure, stable, and sustainable Josephine County.” We are composed of a diverse cross-section of community members, from public officials to business leaders, retired law enforcement officers to educators and parents, physicians and students and shopkeepers, concerned parents, and more. Continue reading SOS Board Comments on HJR 21 – The “$2 Bill”
“In Harm’s Way”
We asked Chief Dennis Hoke of the Illinois Valley Fire District, about how the lack of law enforcement services in Josephine County is affecting the fire district. This is one of many individual parts of the independent video series by SOS called “The Cost.”
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at the Wild River Brew Pub in Grants Pass located at 533 NE F Street in Grants Pass from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM. This will be a BIG meeting – BE THERE!
Once, when a young Captain of Andrew Jackson surveyed the battlefield, he froze up thinking about all the “what-ifs”, jeopardizing his men as well as the lives of others. When Jackson asked the young Captain what was wrong, he answered, “I fear this—I fear that—what if they do this—what if they do that.” Jackson gently placed his arm around him and said, “Never take counsel of your fears…”
Let us operate from a position of strength, one that we earned through blood, sweat and tears, and on the backs of so many great forces who carved the way for us.
Subject: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER MENTIONS “A COMMUNITY IN OREGON”
April 28, 2015 MEETING NOTES:
SOS Sponsor Report Jacki Halcomb
Business Appreciation Dinner
May 2nd we held a business appreciation dinner for businesses in Josephine County. 22 business owners signed our guest book and we had approximately 65 attendees. The focus of the dinner was to bring the business owners current on the projects we are working on and what those projects can mean to the safety of our community if they are implemented. We had guest speakers as well as a showing of the Grace Roots video and one video in a series that is simply titled “The Cost.” The video’s had a profound effect on several of the business owners that attended. We had 5 businesses requests to be sponsors and 4 requested to donate to our efforts.
“What’s Going On In YOUR Neighborhood?”
We asked Chris B, retired firefighter that moved to Josephine County, “What’s going on in your neighborhood?” This is one of many individual parts of the independent video series by SOS called “The Cost.”