Josephine Co. Sheriff's Office
Josephine County Jail Inspection
Grants Pass, OR ??- Every year the Josephine County Jail receives an inspection by a Grand Jury. This inspection is an unscheduled surprise visit to evaluate the conditions and management of the jail. Sheriff Gilbertson is pleased to share comments from the Grand Jury report. The Jury Foreman said "the Jury believes the jail is a very well run and managed facility that the county can and should be proud of. It makes every reasonable effort to protect the rights, safety and dignity of the inmates". The foreman further stated that "clearly the jail would benefit from additional funding and if that funding were secured would become and even more valuable asset to the community and the public safety". Overall the Jury came away with the impression that the jail "bends over backwards to respect the rights of the inmates, and offers them dignity and compassion; it is theirs to refuse this as clearly some of them do". Also congratulated was Captain Smith. The Jury stated "we believe that Captain Smith takes pride in a well run operation given the limitations she must operate under" and "she and her staff have well earned that pride". Congratulations to Sheriff Gilbertson and the staff of the Josephine County Jail.
Test - 10/22/14
This is a test of the Flash Alert system.
Updated Community Watch Program
Grants Pass, OR - Sheriff Gilbertson and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office was pleased to receive a large response of positive feedback from last week's report of a new Community Watch Program. There were numerous requests for more information and we would like to respond to those. As previously stated that program is in development. The goal of this program is to integrate all the preparedness and safety programs now in place as much as possible. This will include, but is not limited to: the Neighborhood Watches currently set up, the CERT programs, all the components of Search and Rescue, Josephine County Emergency Communications, medical teams, and groups working on their own plans.
Computer mapping will enable us see where groups are being set up and where we need to assist people in setting up their own groups. We hope to create a continuous band of prepared neighborhoods. In addition, a larger group of multiple Community Watch groups will develop into a geographical hub. In the event of a large disaster that spot could become a drop location for emergency supplies. The computer mapping component is currently in progress.
The new Community Watch groups will be trained in how to help their neighborhood set up a group and what information needs to be collected. The groups will be shown how to inspect their neighborhood and determine what needs to be done to make homes be safe and secure. Training will be available in how to respond to crime situations. CERT training and first aid training will be made available. Preparedness training and what to do immediately following a disaster will also be part of the training.
Sheriff Gilbertson understands that many citizens are well on their way to accomplishing many of these goals. It is hoped that these people will be a resource for the community and the new groups that are created. What can you do now? Start talking to your neighbors about setting up a group. Start by preparing your own home. Begin to stock up on food and water for your family in case of disaster. Collect first aid supplies. Look into the online resources available and participate in the local Emergency Preparedness events taking place the last weekend in October.
Updated Community Watch Program - 10/17/14
Grants Pass, OR - The Josephine County Sheriff's Office is pleased to announce work on the development of a new type of Community Watch Program. Sheriff Gilbertson has been researching additional options for a Neighborhood Watch program that would combine a sense of community and security, better options for privacy and a level of preparedness that other style Neighborhood Watch Programs may not have offered. His research led to a program developed by the Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division. That Program is now used in 43 States. Elements of the program have been used in Oregon as well.
The Community Watch Program would set up groups of 5-7 homes in rural area and 15-20 neighborhood homes. This program would be an expansion of the current groups and would not disband them. Only information that individual homeowners wish to share would be gathered within the group. It is possible to be part of the group and only have one or two other neighbors of your choice be aware of the information being shared. This program will teach communities how to prepare for disaster and help each other until first responders can assist. It also can map skills that could assist first responders and neighbors such has people with medical skills that live in the area. Help could be in the form of knowing which people have the proper tools to shut off gas lines or tools to rescue others. Citizens would also be taught how to be vigilant and how to deal with crime situations. The goal of this watch program is to have a continuous band of neighborhoods participating.
The Sheriff's concern for the community safety coupled with the lack of funded resources has led him to look toward other options to help his community. Josephine County has the potential to be involved in many types of disaster situations. We have seen the threat of wildfire, flooding and winter storms, but we also know that we have a 40% chance or greater of an earthquake of a strong magnitude effecting our community. With today's dependence on electronic equipment even a power grid outage could cause many types of problems. Any of these disaster situations could overtax the ability of first responders to help everyone at the same time. Neighbor helping neighbor is another option to help individuals and families carry on until other types of help could become available.
Sheriff Gilbertson has listened to the community's concerns in the past and knows that with new programs come new questions. While this program is in development stage, it offers an exciting possibility of helping the community.