Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety
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News Releases
Armed Robbery - 11/03/19

On 11/02/2019 at 2214 hours, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to 261 Rogue River Highway for a reported armed robbery involving a firearm.

During an investigation at the location, it was determined an unknown male suspect entered the Lucky Lizard, displayed a firearm and demanded cash from the register.  The suspect was described as wearing a black, hooded jacket with a hat. 

Once the suspect received the undisclosed amount of cash from the employee, the suspect fled the business.  The suspect's direction of travel is unknown at this time, and it is unknown if the suspect was on foot or in a vehicle.  With the assistance of a police K9, the general area was searched. 

At this time, this case has been turned over to GPDPS detectives for follow-up.

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Community Service Officer Arrested (Photo) - 11/01/19

On Thursday October 31st, 2019, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety was advised of an operational leak within the Public Safety Department.  Information obtained from sources linked to an ongoing criminal investigation led authorities to Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Community Service Officer Heather Corthell.  Corthell is believed to have divulged intelligence that significantly hindered the investigation.

Since the leaked information was related to a joint operation involving both the Josephine County Sheriff's Office and the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Detectives from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office were requested to lead the investigation.   Heather Corthell was later arrested on the following charges and lodged into the Josephine County Jail:

•            ORS 162.247 (a) – Interfering with a Peace Officer

•            ORS 162.285 – Tampering w/ Evidence.

•            ORS 162.325(1)(b) – Hindering Prosecution

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety strives to promote a culture of transparency and accountability to build public trust and legitimacy.   

All questions should be referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.

Any personnel questions can be referred to Chief Warren Hensman.

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City Open Burn Window Canceled (Photo) - 10/29/19

The City of Grants Pass in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Forestry Grants Pass Unit has canceled the current open burn window do to current and anticipated unfavorable fire weather. The city open burn window will be rescheduled after the area has received significant rainfall.

If you have a burn permit, it will be honored for a nine-day window yet to be determined. The Fire Prevention Bureau will be contacting those with permits with more information.

We recommend that debris piles be covered with a tarp to keep dry until after adequate rains come to ensure materials burn clean and complete.

Please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 541-450-6200 with questions.

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City Burn Day Canceled Do To Anticipated Gusty Winds (Photo) - 10/29/19

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory that will be affecting the City of Grants Pass. For this reason, all burning in the city is suspended until further notice. We will continue to monitor the weather and reinstate permit open burning as soon as possible. For questions, please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 541-450-6200.

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Drug Take Back - 10/28/19

          On Saturday, October 26th, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS), in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), hosted a Drug Take Back Event at the police station. During this event, we collected approximately 181 pounds of prescription drugs. The purpose of the event was to keep contaminants out of our local water system and to keep controlled substances away from those who do not have a prescription. 

            For those who missed the event, GPDPS along with the Josephine County Solid Waste Agency has provided two (2) prescription drug drop box for the convenience of the community.

            One drop box is located in the lobby of the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (on the north side of the Josephine County Courthouse). The drop box is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

            The second drop box is located in the lobby of the Grants Pass Public Safety Sub Station at 800 East Park on the corner of Grants Pass Parkway and Parkdale.  This drop box is available Monday-Friday 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:00pm.  To date, the department has collected over 1000 pounds of prescription drugs.  On average the department collects over 1200 pounds of prescription drugs each year.

The following items can be put in the drop box:

· Expired or unwanted prescription medications

· Unneeded over-the-counter medicines

· Drugs that didn’t work for you, a family member or pet

· Drugs that are no longer used

· Medicine from deceased family members

· Unknown tablets and capsules

· Old or unwanted vitamins or supplements

· Medications may be in original container or loose

            Liquid medications should be in a sealed container

Please do not bring illegal substances, intravenous drugs, syringes/needles, medical waste, ointments/lotions, inhalers or aerosol cans.

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Fire Prevention Bureau urges caution open burning due to winds (Photo) - 10/27/19

The City’s open burn window has begun and today is a burn day. We are urging extreme caution due to sustained winds. Have a hose, tools and pay close attention to your burn piles! It only takes a second for your burn pile to escape leading to a brush fire. If you can, please wait for more burning conditions.

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Sex Offense Arrest - 10/24/19

ARRESTED:

Tanner Gunn 18-years-old

CHARGES:

Rape 1, Rape 2, Rape 3, Sex Abuse 3 (3 counts), Use a Child in a Display of Sexually Explicit Conduct, and Online Sexual Corruption of a Child 2.

 

Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Detectives received information that Tanner Gunn was having sexual relationships with several juvenile females.  A subsequent investigation revealed that Gunn did have a sexual relationship with at least three juvenile females.  Gunn was arrested on the listed charges and lodged at the Josephine County Jail.  It is believed there are additional juvenile females who have had sexual physical or online contact with Tanner Gunn.

 

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National Prescription Drug Take Back (Photo) - 10/24/19

Nature:  Prescription Drug Take-Back                                   

Location:  Justice Building, Parking Lot at 5th/B St, Grants Pass

Date/Time:  Saturday, October 26th, 2019  10:00 am to 2:00 PM

On Saturday, October 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Bring your pills for disposal to the Josephine County Justice Building parking lot located at the corner of NW 5th Street and NW B Street. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles/sharps, only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

In April 2019, Americans turned in 468 tons (over 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 6,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,900 of its state and local law enforcement partners. 

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Please contact the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety at 541-450-6260 if you have any questions about the event.

Information on the DEA National Take Back day can also be found at the following website:  https://takebackday.dea.gov/

 

*****UPDATE*****

 

 

DEA to accept electronic vaping devices and cartridges as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

WASHINGTON – With robust public participation over the course of 17 prior events, the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative continues to remove ever-higher amounts of opioids and other medicines from the nation’s homes, where they are vulnerable to misuse, theft or abuse by family members and visitors, including children and teens.

On Saturday, October 26, in continuation of this effort, DEA and its national, tribal and community partners will hold the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day across the country. The service is free and anonymous.

For the first time, DEA will now accept vaping devices and cartridges at any of its drop off locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It is important to note that DEA cannot accept devices containing lithium ion batteries. If batteries cannot be removed prior to drop-off, DEA encourages individuals to consult with stores that recycle lithium ion batteries.

Concerns have been raised across the United States over illnesses and death caused by vaping and the high youth vaping initiation rates. In an effort to support a healthy lifestyle and energetic population, especially amongst America’s youth, DEA is committed to doing all it can to help safely dispose of vaping devices and substances. 

“DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative helps get unused and unwanted prescription medications out of circulation and ensures their safe disposal,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon.  “This year, we are taking a step further by accepting vaping devices and cartridges as we work with our federal partners to combat this emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.”

Now in its tenth year, DEA has collected a total of more than 11 million pounds (almost 6,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications through its Take Back Day events. DEA is continuing to register law enforcement partners and collection sites for the upcoming Take Back Day. As of Oct. 15, more than 4,500 registered law enforcement partners will assist with more than 5,250 registered sites and 135 tribal locations across the country, with more being added each day Collection sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The public can find a nearby collection site at www.DEATakeBack.com or by calling 800-882-9539

Kenneth Sinor
Kenneth Sinor
Sex Offense Investigation (Photo) - 10/22/19

ARRESTED:

Kenneth "Jay" Sinor 21 years old. 

CHARGES:

Rape 3, Sex Abuse 2 (x2), Sex Abuse 3, and Sodomy 3 (x2)

 

Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Detectives received information that Kenneth Sinor was having sexual relations with 15 year old females. A subsequent investigation revealed that Sinor did have a sexual relationship with a 15 year old female.  Sinor was arrested on the listed charges and lodged at the Josephine County Jail. It is believed there are additional juvenile females who have had sexual contact with Kenneth "Jay" Sinor. 

Attached Media Files: Kenneth Sinor
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Citizens awarded GPDPS Certificate of Appreciation (Photo) - 10/21/19

Tyler Reinhardt and Brian Forsythe were awarded the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Certificate of Appreciation this morning for their efforts on October 2nd, 2019.  The two citizens observed a disturbance in the parking lot of a business on Union Avenue.  A 911 call was made reporting a female chasing a male with a knife.

 

Before officers could arrive to the chaotic and dangerous scene, Reinhardt and Forsythe intervened.  The two were able to wrestle the knife away from the female and safely detain her until police could arrive.  Their efforts helped prevent grave harm to the other person in the disturbance and possibly to the female herself.  For that intervention, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety wanted to acknowledge their contribution to keeping the situation safe.

 

Due to the potential for danger and injury, we do not recommend persons intervene in these type of situations.  You should always make every effort to call 911 and allow trained personnel to respond.

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ShakeOut Drill is coming this Thursday morning at 10:17am! (Photo) - 10/16/19

At 10:17 a.m., we encourage you to practice drop, cover and hold on for 60 seconds as if we were having a real earthquake. (Visit the following website for more information: http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/dropcoverholdon/ )

The Earthquake Country Alliance has put together 7 steps to earthquake safety. The 7 steps are simple things you can do to make yourself safer before, during, and after an earthquake. The information in the steps will help you learn how to better prepare to survive and recover, wherever you live, work, or travel.

Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.

Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.

Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.

Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.

Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.

Step 7: Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing the damage, and rebuilding the community.

Earthquake Hazards in Oregon

Oregon lies at a convergent continental boundary where two tectonic plates are colliding. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is actually a 600-mile long earthquake fault stretching from offshore northern California to southern British Columbia. This fault builds up stress for hundreds of years as the Juan de Fuca and North America Plates push against each other. Eventually, the two plates rip apart, creating some of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis on earth. Where the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate and the North American continental plate meet is called a subduction zone because the denser Juan de Fuca Plate is being pulled under North America. The Juan de Fuca Plate is moving to the northeast at about an inch a year as the North American Plate moves west. The Oregon coastline is actually bulging upward from the two plates pushing against each other.

 

There are over 1000 earthquakes over magnitude 1.0 in Washington and Oregon every year, with at least two dozen being large enough to be felt. Approximately 17 people have lost their lives due to earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1872, there have been 20 damaging earthquakes in Washington and Oregon. The Pacific coast poses special risk from tsunamis associated with a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. In addition to Subduction zone earthquakes, Oregon is also susceptible to crustal earthquakes. The two largest earthquakes in recent years in Oregon, Scotts Mills, (magnitude 5.6) and the Klamath Falls, main shocks (magnitude 5.9 and magnitude 6.0) of 1993 were crustal earthquakes.

Oregon Emergency Management Earthquake Hazards Page

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