Josephine County Emergency Calls Rising

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A rise in 911 calls in Josephine County has dispatchers stretched thin. The county sheriff’s office says it’s busy answering hundreds of more calls since the public safety levy failed in last May’s primary.

Dispatchers say from March to April, 813 calls came in for the sheriff’s office. After the failed criminal justice tax levy, 1,122 calls came in. The sheriff’s office is also noticing a rise in calls about property crime.

“We’re seeing a lot of fuel lines cut and stealing gas. We’re seeing a lot more burglaries and thefts, it’s on the increase,” explained Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.

It’s an unfortunate outcome the sheriff predicted.

“It is a reality,” the Sheriff said. “We anticipated just that happening. We’ve seen it elsewhere, so we’re no different than any other part of the country or the world. If there’s no law enforcement, things just get out of hand.”

Another cause and effect of the failed tax levy is how law enforcement can respond.

“We are now having to explain there is no sheriff personnel and that Oregon State Police is taken over that duty certain times,” says lead dispatcher, Marci Haack.

Oregon State Police will only respond to immediate threats.

“If someone broke into your house but if they’re not there or the suspect is not there on scene, then you’re not going to get a response,” says Haack.

“They’re not here to function for the county. I can’t turn them away. I need the help and they do a good job,” says Sheriff Gilbertson.

Without funding for extra deputies, the sheriff has his hands tied.

“I expect it to continue and grow. Like I said, I’ve seen this elsewhere and the more emboldened people get, the more they commit the crime,” stated Sheriff Gilbertson.

The sheriff’s office is unable to follow up on any property crimes. The office is able to log the information and give victims a case number for insurance purposes. Residents can also report crimes online on the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office website.


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  1. Unk says:

    We have been over this before. The levy failed because the people of Josephine county cannot afford the amount of money “required” to keep basic services. Now the media and law enforcement are trying to blackmail the citizenry for their “bad ” decision concerning the levy by pointing out how bad the crime rate is and how defenseless the people are without the police. Hogwash. YOU are responsible for your own safety, the police cannot guarantee your safety, and more likely than not will be there only after the fact to take a report or investigate whatever it was that was done to you. Get it through your heads that YOU have to take the offensive and protect not only you but your family as well. That is where the 2nd amendment comes in. The guy in white city did exactly as he should have, the man forced his way into that house and was shot and killed for his efforts. Even though 911 had been called the police didn’t get there in time to diffuse the situation, which is my point.

  2. anonymous says:

    I totally agree with the above point of view. The media and the sheriffs department are making this look like its such a catastrophe. The sheriffs dept. of JoCo. are corrupt as all hell anyway.

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