About SOS!

Securing Our Safety is a non-profit 501(c)(3), 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 on finding sustainable sources of funding and/or cost savings to restore criminal justice services. More broadly, SOS has explored a 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.

Want to join the SOS email list to follow our projects and stay up to date on meetings and events?  Send an email to:

SOS@SecuringOurSafety.org 

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.

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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 somewhat dim. 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.

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

Timber and Public Safety

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It’s nearly impossible to talk about public safety in Josephine County without mentioning timber. For decades, our public safety services were funded largely by timber receipts from the sale of timber on federally owned land. Now that those federal dollars have mostly dried up, Josephine County has scraped by on federal Secure Rural Schools payments meant to temporarily replace those lost revenues until our county can stand on its own.

Each year, our public safety officials spend a nail-biting few months waiting to hear whether the county will receive another federal payment through the Secure Rural Schools Act. The most recent SRS payment to Josephine County was for nearly $4.9 million. No SRS funding has been authorized for the coming fiscal year.

On Thursday, Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley urged the Senate to pass legislation reauthorizing SRS. But the senators said Congressional leaders blocked their efforts, arguing that more effective timber management could replace the lost revenue. According to Wyden and Merkley, logging on public lands would have to increase by 400 percent to match what counties have been receiving in SRS payments.

Unless there is a last-minute shift by the Senate, the SRS payments that Josephine County received last spring will be our last.

With the failure of the public safety levy on Nov. 8, this leaves us with few options for funding law enforcement in our county.

Securing Our Safety (SOS) is working to get the community more involved in conversations about our county’s future. Please join SOS for our next meeting this Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. at the Newman United Methodist Church at Sixth and B streets in Grants Pass.

To join our email list, send us a message via Facebook, or email media@securingoursafety.org

Josephine County Adult Jail Statistics • Part 1, November 2016

All parts of the Josephine County criminal justice system took a big hit with the 2012 loss of federal timber (SRS) funds that used to provide revenue to these programs. The County’s adult jail was no exception, and cutting back on the ability to take alleged criminals to jail due to budget cuts has had a massive effect on all law enforcement agencies that operate in Josephine County.

For the full report on this topic, CLICK HERE.

Take a look at the following stats from the Grants Pass Police, keeping in mind they only have 28 total jail beds to use under a special contract with the jail:

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Continue reading Josephine County Adult Jail Statistics • Part 1, November 2016

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