SOS Meeting Notes – November 25, 2014

We hope you all had a wonderful and blessed THANKSGIVING!  Thank you for your dedication towards making Josephine County, our home, SAFE.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at the Newman United Methodist Church in Grants Pass located at 132 NE “B” Street in Grants Pass from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM.

NOTES from the last meeting on November 25th, 2014:

FBI Crime Stats:

Archie provided some food for thought regarding the most recent Crime Stats from FBI for Oregon Cities 2013.

David Smith analyzed said stats and made the following remarks:

Some quick calculations based on this spreadsheet. I’ve taken cities above 5,000 population (just because at a certain small size, one crime is enough to make the crime rate per capita look high, and I needed a cutoff somewhere), and ranked crime rates per 1000 population. There are 66 cities in this list with more than 5000 people.

Here are some interesting factoids:

– In terms of violent crime per capita in 2013, GP ranks #15 out of the 66 cities in Oregon with population over 5,000 (Medford is #1)

– In property crime, GP ranks #3 (Seaside is #1)

Where GP ranks on specific crimes:

– Murder & non-negligent homicide #14 – but the top 7 are all small cities with only 1 or (in the case of K Falls) 2 murders; among cities over 25,000, GP is #6 (of 21). (Gresham is #1)

– Rape (revised definition): #11 (Newport is #1; Medford is #4)

– Robbery: #9 (Gresham is #1, followed by Portland)

– Agg assault: #19 (Medford is #1)

– Burglary: #1

– Larceny: #4 (Seaside is #1; Medford is #3)

– Motor vehicle theft: #1

– Arson: #5 (Milton-Freewater is #1; Medford is #2)

GP’s violent crimes per capita were nearly two and a half times the statewide median. Our property crime rate was even worse – 266% of the statewide median.

Note that in only two categories is GP better than the worst 25% of Oregon cities in terms of crime per capita – and that’s only with murder and aggravated assault (where the numbers in any given year are likely to be small, and thus easily skewed by one or two cases). In most categories, GP is in the top 15%, and in all too many we are in the top handful of cities in all of Oregon in terms of both violent and (even more so) property crime.

Small city, big-city crime, for sure.

Note too that these stats are, presumably, just for the city of GP – not for Josephine County. GP is, of course, where we have law enforcement on the streets. Many, if not most, crimes in JoCo outside the city limits are not reported, much less prosecuted. So these statistics likely understate the problem for JoCo as a whole.

Food for thought.



“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try one more time.”

Thomas Edison


SOS Sponsor Report – Jennifer Essick

    • This committee met after the regularly scheduled SOS meeting; members included Colene Martin, Brian Pendleton, Jacki Holcomb, Kim Gasperson, Jay Meredith, and Archie Lidey
  • Sponsor COUNT TBA
  • This committee shall be working on the FORM for our Sponsors
  • OUR Goal is to get every business to fly our SOS placard
  • Attached is a photo of Frank N Stene’s Monster Growler’s located at 950 SW 6TH Street in Grants Pass (541-450-3980), flying the SOS business placard, where one can sample and fill a Growler with a beer from of one of many local breweries! Try the Nikasi Wunderbier Kolsch…
  • If you would like to join this committee, please e-mail Jennifer @


Community Research

Pat Fahey/Ken Smith/Linda Scott

As you are aware, the Scientific Survey has been completed. It indicates voters will approve a
measure that has three elements:

1) 160 jail beds

2) Re-open Juvenile Justice Center and

3) Increased Josephine County Sheriff’s Patrol Response (16 hours per day 7 days per week)

This is at a cost of $1.40 per $1,000 assessed value.

$40-$50,000 has been raised thus far for this venture (by the separate group – PAC Community United For Safety), which includes the $25,000 the survey cost.

We are currently working on the language for the levy ballot measure. We have the road map for success in May.  We want everyone to be involved.

We are planning a big party to kick-off the petition drive, on Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at the Wild River Brew Pub from 5PM-7PM. We will have petitions for people to take to get signed. We need 2800 signatures by mid-February! We are requesting that everyone come to the party!  Ask all your friends to come!

We are going to have a calculator on the PAC website for computing what the successful Criminal Justice Levy will mean to you, the homeowner, at $1.40/$1,000 impact, if the Josephine County residents authorize the Levy.

Jacki Holcomb confirmed the need for a succinct Q+A or FAQ page on the website for people to visit and find answers!

Someone came up with a brilliant IDEA to get T-shirts made that simply say on the front: Committed a talking piece and demonstrative to OUR commitment to getting this thing done! Those same shirts can be burnt at the VICTORY party afterwards…

Radio Ads shall be purchased to inform the public where and when they can go and sign the petitions.

Endorse Public Safety Measure

  • Following the completion of scientific research to determine what level of public safety voters want, and how much they are willing to pay for those services, work is progressing to place a Public Safety Measure on the May 19, 2015 ballot.  If you are willing to publicly support this measure and have your name included on the Endorsements Page of the Community United for Safety website campaigning the measure, please give your permission by emailing Linda Scott at  Thank you. Join the Committee by e-mailing Ken:


Oversight Committee

Harold Haugen

This idea was originally developed by Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Bill Landis to have citizens in Josephine County not connected to Government, to oversee, evaluate and guide the community’s investment in our Criminal Justice System.

The Chamber of Commerce shall be the platform and Colene Martin and Harold Haugen have already begun to develop it. They shall be working with the Community Research Committee and be a vital component for the Levy’s success.

In short, the committee will consist of trusted people in our community, outside of the current governments, to include leaders in business, education, professional fields, and in FAITH.


Right now, everything is on the table to include: the members committing to a two-year stint, a candid annual report, monthly meetings, open and transparent meetings.

Harold suggested going to the Josephine County website and reviewing the current budget to see just how much money the County has/does not have.


MAT-C Committee

Nancy Yonally/Marilane Jorgenson/Dr. Felica Cohen

  • Dr. Steven Rotter MAT-C Medical Director/Awareness Video
  • We hope to have a movie trailer done by the December 16, 2014 meeting
  • Next Meeting is December 10, 2014 at Women’s Health Center 5:30-6:30 PM
  • Join this committee, contact Nancy at


Lottery Committee Cliff Thomason


What are the steps in place to attract new business once we re-establish public safety?

Keith Heck

Keith spoke about the “bleakness” of the future regarding Criminal Justice System funding. We should know “something” in the next two weeks regarding any potential Federal Funds and even so, it is temporary and will affect any levy or other funding attempts unless people are well informed. Keith said he appreciated that this effort is again, a citizen-led effort, with respect to the levy and not a Commissioner “thing”. It is difficult to get businesses to come to Josephine County with the reputation we are developing across the state as being lawless.

This is a work-in-progress!

I challenge everyone to pay attention to the FATAL crashes we are experiencing as an indicator of the lack of pro-active patrols. We are schedule to be at over 20 again for 2014. National Average is 12 per 100,000. Oregon Statewide has been 14 per 100,000. Josephine County has less than 84,000 residents (Source 2013 Community Wellness Survey).


Run for the Law: A County United

Bill West/Holly Lidey

The next run meeting is Dec 3rd at 5:30pm at Club Northwest. Bring any ideas you have and let’s get this thing going! If you would like to help in ANY way please contact Holly Lidey at 541-660-8186 or email her at


Art Auction Committee  JoAnne Alvarez

  • Our next meeting is December 1, 2014 at JoAnne’s home!
  • Incidentally, Frank N Stene’s Monster Growlers will be sampling a few select beers at our Auction this year!
  • Art Auction: FEBRUARY 5, 2014
  • So far we have 24 ARTISTS committed!!!
  • Join this committee, e-mail JoAnne at for further details!



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