Grants Pass Police Department
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News Releases
Android Phones Create 911 Backlog at Josephine County 911 Center (Photo) - 05/18/23

Grants Pass, Ore. - The Josephine County 911 Agency is asking Android users to turn off the Emergency SOS feature in the settings of their phones until an issue is corrected in a future release. Phones will still be able to call 911 in the event of an emergency. The Emergency SOS feature calls 911 after the side buttons on the phone are pressed 5 times in rapid succession. The result is that many accidental calls are being placed into our center. For each of these calls, a dispatcher must call the phone back to determine if a true emergency exists. Calls that go unanswered are then sent to an officer to attempt to locate the caller and check their welfare, tying up emergency responders who are then unavailable for actual emergency calls. 

Over the month of March, we noticed a 31% increase in 911 hangup calls and a 49% increase in these calls over the month of April from the same period in 2022. When questioning callers about the reason for the accidental call, the vast majority have been determined to come from Android phones in pockets, vehicle cup holders, or purses. 

To turn off this feature on an Android phone, go to the settings of your phone, click on the magnifying glass to search, and type in Emergency SOS. You can then slide the toggle to turn the feature off. The feature has a built-in alert to notify callers prior to the calls being placed; however, many times the alert is either not working or not noticed in time to prevent the call. 

If you do find that you’ve accidentally called 911, please do not hang up! Stay on the line and let the dispatcher know it was an accident, answering the questions they ask. This will allow them to close out the call without further action. 


Attached Media Files: Jo_911.png
Riverside Park Assault - 05/14/23

Due to a criminal investigation involving Grants Pass Police and detectives, the east side of Riverside Park near Vista Drive is closed. Please avoid the area.  We will update when this part of the park is open again. We appreciate the public’s cooperation.

Grants Pass K-9 Partner Otis: The Nose That Knows! (Photo) - 05/05/23

Grants Pass, Ore. – The Grants Pass Police Department is announcing our amazing new partner, K-9 Otis! He is the first scent-discriminating K-9 ever deployed by Grants Pass Police. Otis was born on February 9, 2022, in Washington and is an AKC-registered Bloodhound with an ultra-sensitive nose that can discern one person’s scent from that of another. Otis’s primary function as a police K-9 is to find lost people, specifically missing elderly citizens or children, but he can also assist patrol with locating suspected criminals.

Police Officer George Gasperson is K-9 Otis’s handler. Officer Gasperson first met Otis as a puppy on May 23, 2022, at Coby Webb’s K9 Training facility in Beaumont, California. Coby Webb and her associate Dan Thamert are National Police Bloodhound Association trainers. Officer Gasperson began training with Otis on the first day they met. Upon arriving at his new home in Grants Pass, Otis continued his training and socialization. His distinctive Bloodhound baying could often be heard in the Records area of the Police Department as he spent socialization hours with Records Supervisor Terri McClure and the records crew.

Otis has a much more sensitive nose than most Police K9s. After smelling a scent article, like a sock or glove, Otis can distinguish that person’s scent from all others and track where the person went. Depending on weather conditions, Otis can follow an odor that is hours old! In February 2023, Otis and Officer Gasperson attended the National Police Bloodhound Association conference in Los Angeles. After numerous days of testing, including tracking a person who ran through busy Staple Center crowds, through busy parking lots, and across streets of moving traffic where Otis successfully found the person, Otis received his official certification through NPBA.

The Grants Pass Police Department is proud to have Otis as a K-9 partner and wants to congratulate him and his handler Officer Gasperson on their successful certification. Otis is just starting his law enforcement career, and we look forward to his productive future as he serves the citizens of Grants Pass.