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SOS Flow Chart


Securing Our Safety is a non-profit, citizen-led organization dedicated to the mission of providing for a secure, stable, and sustainable future for Josephine County, Oregon.

Since 2012, Josephine County has had minimal funding for criminal justice operations, due to the loss of federal subsidies for former timber-producing counties and the failure to pass a local property tax levy to replace this revenue.  SOS was formed by local business owners, community leaders, parents, retirees, and other concerned citizens to explore any and all ideas that might help address the County’s long-term needs. The initial focus has been primarily focused on finding sustainable sources of funding and/or cost savings to restore criminal justice services. More broadly, SOS has explored a broad range of potential solutions to make Josephine County a safer, more stable, more sustainable community, to build the alliances across disparate community groups, and to seek to restore trust and communication between local citizens and their elected officials and other public servants.

If you would like to join SOS, have questions or concerns, or would simply like more information about our organization and the local issues we are working to address, please feel free to contact us.

We’re always looking for volunteers to help in many ways – please leave us a suggestion HERE if you are interested in joining SOS meetings or participating on any of the SOS teams.

Even as we speak, there are children and adults out there in our County, our World, our Home, who are being offended. Children who are being forced to do unspeakable things without any end in sight. Elderly who no longer have the mental capacities to realize the abuse upon them… They seek the light of Justice for protection, yet ours burns faint. Thank you for making that light burn brighter. Thank you for giving them hope. Every act, every cent you have given, every moment of your time you have sacrificed away from your family, has not been in vain. It falls into a collective pool of HOPE which grows stronger each and every day.


Special Message from the SOS Board 9-14-14:

SOS – Our Time Is Now!

Dear SOS Members,

As we’ve discussed in recent meetings, time is of the essence in finding safety solutions for Josephine County.  Our Criminal Justice System was devastated in 2012 with the lower amount of federal (timber) funding to support local services and without an extension of the much smaller federal amounts we’ve received in the last couple years we’re facing another cliff in July of 2015.  The system is in rough shape now, and is set for another cut of nearly 50% next summer unless we come together as a community and implement some funding solutions.

It takes a long time to make a major change in funding for local services and thanks our hard work for a little more than two years we’re right on the edge of successes in many ways.  Our volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of work in the many areas we’re focusing on to bring health back to JoCo.  But we need your help financially in a few ways where we’re bringing in professional help that’s not available by volunteer support of our members.  Among many other projects, we’re assisting with some professional polling to make sure the next local measure is what the community wants, we have some more legal and other technical research to do for the statewide ballot measure that would reallocate lottery dollars to Counties, and we’re busy reaching out to the community at various events to bring the community together.

We’re asking right now that you consider a small tax deductible donation to SOS. Even $10 per member would get us to where we need to be without holding extra fundraisers over the next year (other than what we already have planned).  If everyone on our list donated just $10 we would be set until our planned fundraisers over the next 6 months.

The time is now to support the troops that keep us safe at home.  Please consider an online donation at http://securingoursafety.org/join-sos/ or by mail:

Securing Our Safety
PO Box 2626
Grants Pass, OR 97528

Thank you for your help in restoring safety services to our community!


MISSION: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”


Want to join the SOS email list?  Send an email to:   SecuringOurSafety@gmail.com

Please also visit THIS PAGE for more information about becoming a member or making  online donations to SOS.

Our calendar of events and meetings can be found HERE.


SOS Meeting Notes – September 9, 2014

Good Evening SOS!

Great meeting Tuesday!

NOTES (September 9, 2014):

SOS Sponsor Report Jennifer Essick

  • Weekly success report

NUMBER of current SOS Business SPONSORS:


  • Jennifer reported on our total number of business sponsors to date

  • Jennifer will continue to knit together our business community, which shall include OUTREACH to the business community throughout our county

  • Jennifer spoke about a recent newcomer sponsor: Rogue Valley Humane Society, who is requesting assistance with their fundraising efforts (more to follow next week!)

  • If you are a business, who wants to stand united beside us and effect a change in our county, please e-mail Jennifer @etopps_08@hotmail.com

  • We encourage everyone to visit our sponsor page on our website: www.securingoursafety.org and to SHOP LOCAL!


Casino Night Felita Short

  • Details about October, 2014 Will be reported next week by Felita!

  •  Want to help Felita? Join her at felitashort@gmail.com

Scott Draper Presentation

  • Scott Draper gave a moving presentation to the group, after and introduction by Jay Meredith

  • Jay mentioned how proud he was of all of SOS’ successes and that if we shut down our engines tomorrow, would be proud of everything we have accomplished!

  • In substance, Scott spoke about the following: There is a gap in Josephine County with respect to business owners getting involved in our current crisis, relative to the decimation of our Criminal Justice System. We have an incredible opportunity to build “trust” in our community. The “other group” formed after I assembled some “movers and shakers” of our business community to get involved. We had difficulty coming up with a name for our group. Truth be told, we didn’t even want a name. While we want us to come together to solve our crisis, just like SOS, we don’t want to remain in this activity forever. We want our professionals to be able to focus on their professions, and not pull double duty working on our crisis as the “other job”. I just want to run my business but I can’t stand by and do nothing while watching my community in decline. This group which I am moderating meets every Thursday at 3 PM at Club Northwest. We welcome you with open arms as I know SOS welcomes everyone the same. We all our existence to the efforts of you at SOS. We are not competition but rather a complement. You—we— pulled a car up 6TH Street in an effort to raise awareness of our dilemma. We went to step alongside of you and grabbed part of the rope, a door handle, whatever, and help push the same way. We want to help push the car to our shared destination. I was born and raised in Grants Pass. My parents were also born and raised in Grants Pass. May 20, 2015 is our Deadline! If we don’t have something together by then, our situation that we presently suffer through, will only grow worse. We must take a stand together. SOS must continue to build trust in our community. We have a “Great Community”! Our business leaders are beginning to step up and make a stand. They are beginning to join and make an effort to save our community. We all want the same thing, a safe community. We want to “own our own outcomes”!

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SOS Meeting Notes – September 2, 2014

Good afternoon SOS!

Our next meeting shall be:


September 9, 2014 from 5:15pm to 6:15pm

Location:  Newman United Methodist Church,  132 NE “B” St. ˜ Grants Pass

(right across the street from the Josephine County Courthouse)


NOTES from last Tuesday’s Meeting:

The meeting started out with a story about a Grants Pass, Josephine County, 29-year-old man who got out of state prison on Friday and less than a week later, overdosed on heroin and died on Thursday. Unnecessary death is always tragic especially when our youth are involved.


OUR MISSION: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”


Going “upstream” and addressing the opiate/heroin addiction is one of the ways we are attempting to accomplish our mission.


Heroin Cases = the number of cases involving Heroin Charges = the number of charges involving Heroin:


 2010 – 4 cases, 6 charges


 2011 – 22 cases, 33 charges


 2012 – 37 cases, 54 charges


 2013 – 123 cases, 172 charges


 2014 YTD – 104 cases, 142 charges, 

People battling opiate/heroin addiction, without extreme self-control or medical intervention, need to “get” the drug everyday to avoid “getting sick” (the withdrawal symptoms). They are opportunists and will do whatever it is they must to “get” the drug; for example, Grants Pass vehicle break-ins have been increasing exponentially…


Recently, Matt Corey, of the Josephine County DA’s Office commented on the above stats:


The numbers you have were done on July 31, 2014 so new numbers would not even add a month.  It is safe to say that the numbers have gone up in the 3 weeks since those numbers came out, and it is safe to say that we will shatter the numbers from 2013 when this year is over, continuing our 5 year trend of skyrocketing heroin related cases.  When you convert those hard numbers into percentages, the results are mind boggling.


Many of the people battling opiate/heroin addiction reside in rural Josephine County and not only make the situation difficult for those who reside around them, but often times go to the city of Grants Pass and commit additional crimes to secure their drug.

Our solution includes our MAT-C Committee, steered by Nancy Yonally/Marilane Jorgenson/Dr. Felica Cohen and others. They meet on a bi-weekly basis at the Women’s Health Center in Grants Pass from 5:30-6:30 PM. They met this past Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at the Women’s Health Center @ 5:30 PM

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SOS Meeting Notes – August 26, 2014


RUN/Walk for THE LAW - Bill West

  • The first meeting for our run will be on September 15, 2014 at the AFSCME office on Williams Highway at 5:00 PM
  • Come be a part of this awareness event by helping design the course and the event itself! Last year’s event was fantastic with almost 500 people in attendance. Please help make this event even greater! YOUR opinion and ideas count! Help shape our run!
  • Club Northwest has committed $1,000 in Prize monies
  • A deposit of $100 has already been made to the timing chip company Eclectic Edge securing our run/walk date: February 5, 2015


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SOS Flow Chart

SOS Meeting Notes – August 19, 2014

Good Morning SOS!

Our next meeting tomorrow shall be:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 from 5:15pm to 6:15pm

Wild River Brew Pub located at 533 NE F Street, Grants Pass.


Meeting Notes:


Josephine County Fair

How did it go? (August 13-16, 2014) The Fair Board records report an attendance of 78,000 this year. That should be good news for the future of the fair. Our booth was attended by Cliff Thomason, Mark Gatlin, Phil Killian, Nancy Yonally, Amber Garza, Cheri Adkins, Mary Bowers, Jennifer Essick, Darryl Scott, Kristine Crewse, Gordon Edstrom, Kay Smith, Felita Short, Mike Schneyder, Steve Marshak, Rycke Brown and Archie Lidey.

Special thanks to Mark Gatlin for setting up and tearing down the booth! Navigating through the fair took some effort and that did not go unnoticed. Mark was also able to secure us a nice spot inside next to a large fan. Thanks again Mark!

The cost of the FAIR Booth was $350 paid for by SOS.

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Who do Opiate Addicts Effect?

pillsAn opiate addict is never alone in their struggle with their addiction. They bring everyone they know into the center of the hell that they are experiencing. They are part of someone else’s life and whether we like it or not we too must take the heart ache with them.

It is a real heart ache when you see her doing things that just are beyond your control. The addict tries to convince you that they are not really involved in the battle of the drug war. You can see the changes that she is going through and when you question them, She tries to laugh it off and say things like, are you kidding me, I would never do that. You want so bad to believe her. It hurts so much as you see her struggling within herself. And the trouble has just begun.
She begins to be undependable and less than honest with you. She will make up stories about things that do not even make sense. They most often start to steal from those around them to support the habit that they are so deeply involved in. The lies come so easily to them because they need to convince you that they are in control of their destiny. The need for the drug is so great, that they do not even give it a second thought as the next chapter is opening up. Their habit is costing so much more than just money, it is now threatening their life. The addict now can no longer work or function as a responsible person. The need for the drugs causes more deception and leads to unlawful activities. She seems to be at a place where maybe you can talk her into getting help.

It is now time to confront her again and this time you convince her to seek help at any cost. During the struggle to get clean she will sometimes lead you to believe she is on the right track when in fact she has fallen again. You pick up the pieces and try again.

This time it looks like she may make it and everyone is so hopeful. Things go along nice for a few months. The addict goes through some horrible sick times and withdraws from everyone for a short time, but does come out of it and it seems the road to recovery is within reach. We are all so happy to see her come out of it. But this is not the end of this situation.

Struggling to keep her on track is becoming easier as she seems to be relating to those around her. On a daily basis getting her back and forth to the clinic that is almost 40 miles one way from her home is a real challenge, but with everyone pulling together it is happening.
We are all so happy and Christmas is upon us now and we are looking forward to having a wonderful Christmas with the family and her being part of all of it. She makes a trip to California to see her lawyer and some friends. She is due home on Christmas eve.

It is 10:30 pm on Christmas eve and I get the call. My beautiful grand daughter is brain dead from an overdose. Her father and I go to her bed side. The doctors have run all the tests and confirm that she is only being kept alive on life support. After all her friends (They had so many young people in the waiting room, we had to limit the visits to 5 minutes to get them all in.) and family have said their good byes and we send her off with prayers and so many, many tears. On the 28th of December, The doctor comes in and pulls the plug, I stand there and watch her take her last breath. The emotional heartache was too much to bear. I will never get past this and my son lost his only child. He will never be the same.

We are all so very involved when our loved ones become addicts. I pray God will help others help so they need not face the ending that we have had to go through.

A very sad grandmother


Cave Junction, OR—Jubilee Park Grand Skate Park Opening!  (August 16, 2014) SOS Members Cheri Adkins, Shane Simon, Mark Gatlin, Amber Garza and Shai Garza  attended this event. Mark Gatlin, a.k.a. the Snow  Cone King, handed out over 400 snow cones. Jump House and Dunk Tank (manned by Shai Garza and her friend Allison) were a smashing success! Shai is still a bit water-logged. Under the leadership of Cheri Adkins, who kept Shane Simons on his toes, setting up and taking down all of our displays, to include a “bounce house” for the kids, SOS reached out to hundreds of people in the CJ area. We raffled off the skateboard and helmet, which a lucky person from the IV won!!!  Great JOB!

SOS Flow Chart

SOS Meeting Notes – August 12, 2014

Here are the meeting notes:


Booth at the JoCo Fair:
o       We coordinated activities for the fair booth and passed out supplies
o        We have a bunch of SOS flyers to pass out after printing them last week!
o       We also have flyers for the MAT-C and our Lottery committees
o       Our OUTREACH Booth will have the following Logs:
1.       Business Log, for Josephine County businesses who want to become partners
2.      Idea Log for people to write down their suggestions as to how we can solve our criminal justice system dilemma funding
3.       E-Mail Log for people who want to get onto our email list
4.       Victim’s Log, for people who want to share their victimization as a result of our decimated criminal justice system

If you would like to join this committee, email archielidey@gmail.com

Trust and Transparency Committee
Commented on work and articles in process.
Jay Suggestion – make sure there is a “call to action” in each article
Been through the budget looking for questions to answer. Committee can make list of what you can do.

o  Op ed piece has been written.

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SOS-logo-smaller 155X155

SOS Meeting Notes – August 5, 2014



  • First EVENT GP Saturday Market
  • Pat Fahey, Phil Killian and Archie Lidey (Saturday, August 2, 2014)
  • How did it GO? It went well. Many people look down at the ground and barrel through the area on the southwest corner of the Saturday Market, where traditionally, political tables are set up and people entering the market are accosted. SOS is promoting a united community which is safe and there really shouldn’t be any selling.
  • Many of you know my motivation comes from my desire to be the light for the children of our county who have no light—no hope to run to for protection against the dark. I encourage all of you to Google the story of Jeanette Maples who at the precious age of 15, died Dec. 9, 2009, of abuse in Lane County, Oregon.
  • We reviewed our general SOS Flyer, which was well received by our public
  • We also have flyers for the MAT-C and our Lottery committees
  • Our OUTREACH Booth will have the following Logs:
    1. Business Log, for Josephine County businesses who want to become partners
    2. Idea Log for people to write down their suggestions as to how we can solve our criminal justice system dilemma funding
    3. E-Mail Log for people who want to get onto our email list
    4. Victim’s Log, for people who want to share their victimization as a result of our decimated criminal justice system
  • Poll—Linda Scott spoke briefly about the upcoming decision by our Community Research Committee to begin developing a scientific poll or if we should we continue with additional focus groups and how that decision will be made this Monday (August 11, 2014)
  • OUTREACH Calendar (Gordon Edstrom will be putting our OUTREACH event calendar up on our website; thus far, we have the GP Saturday Market and the JO CO Fair)
  • We agreed to participate in the Josephine County Fair which runs from August 13-16 and will cost us $350; I will be sending out an e-mail asking for you to participate at our booth; regretfully, you will be responsible to pay your own way in and also for parking; the fair is on desperate times and cannot afford not to charge, so we shall support it! THANK YOU in advance!!!
  • Fair Sign-UP Schedule (will follow this e-mail)
  • if you would like to join this committee, email archielidey@gmail.com


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SOS Meeting Notes – July 29, 2014



  • August 2, 2014, We kick off OPERATION OUTREACH!!! Visit Pat Fahey, Phil Killian and Archie Lidey at the GP Saturday Market between 0800 AM-1200 Noon!
  • We set up our OUTREACH Booth
  • Julian Silva is providing us with a table
  • Pat Fahey is providing us with a canopy
  • Linda Scott and Phil Killian completed our SOS general flyer and graciously took input from so many of you, to include: Ernie Coffman, JoAnne Alvarez, Dave Corsi, Lorrie Smith-McKeen, Bill West, Pat Fahey, Darryl Scott, Nancy Yonally, Marilane Jorgenson, Felicia Cohen, Michael Cope, Dale Matthews, Bill Landis, Kristine Crewse, Craig Simpson, Kirk Brust, Holly Lidey, Cherryl Walker, Connie Roach, Grant Medley, Mary Bowen, Jennifer Essick, Jack Swift, Cliff Thomason, Ken Smith, Jim Frick, Cheri Adkins, Jay Meredith, Gil Gilbertson, and Bill Ertel (I just picked them up from the Press! Stop by the GP Saturday Market to see your work!)
  • We shall have flyers from the MAT-C, Lottery and SOS available
  • We will have Logs for: a Business Log, for Josephine County businesses who want to become sponsors; an Idea Log for people to write down their suggestions as to how we can solve our criminal justice system dilemma funding; an E-Mail Log for people who want to get onto our email list; and a Victim’s Log, for people who want to share their victimization as a result of our decimated criminal justice system
  • in the very near future, we hope to also have a poll available, for people who like to participate and “sound off” with respect to what they want and expect out of our criminal justice system
  • we will also have a calendar for people to write in upcoming events that SOS can participate in with our OUTREACH
  • if you would like to join this committee, email archielidey@gmail.com

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