Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety
Emergency Messages as of 5:52 pm, Sun. Sep. 20
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety.
Primary email address for a new account:


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
RADE Arrest / Seizure - 09/17/20

On 09-16-20 at around 6:45 am, RADE detectives with the assistance of GPDPS patrol units and narcotics detection K9 Match, arrested 73 year old William G. Van Tassell. RADE detectives obtained information Van Tassell was in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine and located him driving his vehicle southbound on Interstate 5 in Josephine County. A traffic stop was attempted on Van Tassell as he neared exit 58. Van Tassell chose to not pull over and drove several miles before spike strips were deployed by a patrol unit, deflating 3 of Van Tassell's tires. He eventually was stopped and after K9 Match alerted to narcotics in his vehicle, 228.4 grams (approximately 1/2 pound) of methamphetamine was located, hidden in his vehicle. Van Tassell was arrested and lodged in the jail for Unlawful Delivery and Possession of Methamphetamine. More charges are expected to be added by the DA's Office. Anyone with questions can contact Det. Sgt. Doni Hamilton 541-450-6370 or email at

UPDATE - Officer Involved Shooting - 09/16/20

UPDATE: Grants Pass, Oregon

Suspect: Jonny M James (39) DOB:07/31/81

On 09/16/20 at 9:33am, Grants Pass Police responded to the 1400 Block of Wineteer Lane regarding a male inside a home under construction.  As the male was challenged by a job site worker, a scuffle ensued.  The male fled the home and attempted to steal a nearby truck.

The man was unable to leave in the vehicle and ran from the area.  Within minutes, officers received information the man was inside a nearby backyard and making statements to harm himself while trying to stab himself with gardening tool. 

Officers contacted the man and immediately tried to de-escalate the incident; trying to calm the man and gain compliance.  Within minutes, he rushed toward officers with the tool in his hand.  One of the officers deployed less lethal bean bags rounds and three of the officers fired their duty weapon. 

Officers administered first aid and the man was transported to Three River Medical Center and is currently in critical condition.  No officers were injured during the incident. The weapon held by the man appeared to be a weeder tool, which is similar to a large flat head screwdriver.   

The Josephine County Major Crimes Team was activated, and the Oregon State Police Criminal Division will lead the investigation. 

All additional media requests will be referred to the Josephine County District Attorneys Office and the Oregon State Police.


Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass Department of Public Safety Police Officers have been involved in an Officer Involved Shooting.  One male was shot and is currently in critical condition at Three Rivers Medical Center.  No officers were injured during the incident.   

The Josephine County Major Crimes team is currently on scene in the area of Wineteer Street, Grants Pass.   

Additional information will be released at 4:30pm from the Department of Pubic Safety Headquarters located at 726 NE 7th Street. 

Lynch, Martin B.
Lynch, Martin B.
Kidnap arrest (Photo) - 09/07/20


Lynch, Martin Brandon  31 years of age

Resident of Grants Pass



Attempted Kidnapping in the Second Degree



Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree



On 09-06-2020 at approximately 7:55pm, the Grants Pass Police responded to a report of a male subject at Riverside Park who attempted to grab an 11 year old girl while she was on a swing at the park.  The male was reported to also be following the juvenile and her mother through the park, placing them in fear for their safety.  Officers arrived on scene and detained the male while the incident was investigated. 

At the conclusion of the investigation, Martin Brandon Lynch was arrested for Attempted Kidnapping in the Second Degree, Menacing, Harassment and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.  Lynch was lodged at the Josephine County Jail on all of the listed charges.  The case will be referred to the Josephine County District Attorney for review and filing of charges. 

Based on the investigation, Lynch does not appear to be related to previous reported incidents occurring around local retail establishments.  The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety would like to remind everyone to be aware of your surroundings and remain watchful of children while in public.  There have been several calls involving subjects following families in public locations.  Being aware will assist with seeing these individuals and making prompt calls to local law enforcement so we can locate and identify these subjects.  The safety of our community, especially our children, is foremost for everyone who works in Grants Pass. 

Anyone with further information about this incident is asked the call the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety at 541-450-6260.  

Attached Media Files: Lynch, Martin B.
2 Alarm Residential Structure Fire 1700 Medart Ln. - 09/05/20

Friday September 4, 2020

911 received a call of a fully engulfed mobile home at the above location at 7:52 PM. The caller said they had returned home to find the mobile on fire. First arriving fire crews were faced with a fully involved single wide mobile home spreading to nearby homes, cars and vegetation. Grants Pass Police started evacuation of nearby homes as firefighters from several agencies battled the flames.

Quick action by the firefighters saved three neighboring homes that were becoming involved. Regrettably, the home where the fire started along with 3 vehicles and 2 outbuildings were a total loss.

All the occupants were out of the home and there were no reported injuries from the fire. The American Red Cross responded to assist those displaced with housing and other immediate needs. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Grants Pass Fire was assisted on scene by American Medical Response, Rural Metro Fire, Illinois Valley Fire, Rogue River Fire and Applegate Fire.

Structure Fire (Fatality) - 09/05/20

At 4:18 AM on Saturday, September 5, 2020 the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety received several 911 calls reporting a structure fire in the SW G St area.  When Fire and Police units arrived, they located the fire at 50 SW Western Ave. The residence was fully involved with fire.  Fire personnel from Grants Pass Fire/Rescue, and Rural Metro began working the fire.  Pacific Power and Light responded to assist with live power lines that had fallen due to the fire.   As a precaution, fire crews evacuated several residences nearby. After one hour of aggressive firefighting, the fire was knocked down.

During a search of the remaining structure, fire crews located human remains.  The remains have not yet been identified.  Detectives from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to assist with the investigation of the fire.  Further details will be released once the remains have been identified and next of kin has been notified. 

The Grants Department of Public Safety would like to thank Rural Metro Fire Department, and American Medical Response for their assistance.

Impaired Driving Enforcement (Photo) - 09/04/20

Nature:          High Visibility DUII Enforcement                                   

Location:       Josephine County Oregon

Date/Time:     Labor Day Weekend, 2020       

Completed by:  Ofc. Marshall                                 Approved:  Captain Moran



Due to the impaired driving problem that continues to affect our community several community partners have united to create the Rogue Impaired Driving Enforcement task force. This is a joint effort from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and the Oregon State Police. The RIDE task force will host special events and combat impaired driving in Josephine County.

During the Labor Day Weekend, the RIDE task force will join other Oregon law enforcement agencies participating in High Visibility Enforcement Operations. Increased patrols will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers throughout our community.

The RIDE program will incorporate education, enforcement, deterrence and treatment. RIDE encourages the motoring public to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. They also encourage citizens who witness suspected impaired drivers to contact police immediately.

This Labor Day will be the first event for the RIDE program and was made possible with the help of our community partners:

-Grants Pass Sobering Center
-Josephine County District Attorney’s Office
-Josephine County Courts
-Oregon Department of Transportation
-Three Boys Towing
-Jerry’s Towing

If you are interested in becoming a community partner for the RIDE program please contact Ofc. Marshall at the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, 541-450-6260.


Attached Media Files: RIDE
Suspicious Activity - 09/04/20

Between mid-August and just yesterday, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety received four complaints of suspicious activity taking place at the larger retail and grocery stores along the Grants Pass Parkway. 

Each of the four complainants said they were followed by 3 or 4 men who did not appear to be shopping.  Most of the citizens reporting the suspicious behavior had their small children with them at the time, and could only describe the men as average looking and people of Hispanic origin.

On Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 police were called to similar disturbance at the Wal Mart.  A detailed investigation led to the arrest of 33-year-old Juan Soldevilla for Sex Abuse 3, Sexual Harassment, and Invasion of personal privacy 2.  It is believed Soldevilla was using the camera on his cellular phone to take pictures up the dress of a female shopper, otherwise known as up-skirting. 

We would like to remind citizens to always be aware of your environment, and immediately report suspicious behavior to the authorities – regardless of jurisdiction.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety is working with area businesses to identify the men engaged in this suspicious behavior. 

Large Fire along Railroad Track (Photo) - 08/22/20

Grants Pass Fire Rescue arrived on scene of a large pile of railroad ties that caught fire just after 6:00am this morning.  The fire was reported to be along side the railroad tracks just behind the Oregon Youth Authority at 2001 NE F St in Grants Pass.  Crews quickly controlled the large fire and limited the spread to the surrounding vegetation and brush.  Crews from Grants Pass City Streets brought in a Backhoe and Excavator to help move the large timbers along with Rural Metro Fire also assisted with the scene.  Smoke was visible for most of the day while crews completed the difficult mop up of the large timbers.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation and anyone with information regarding the fire is urged to call Grants Pass Fire Rescue at 541-450-6200.  We would like to remind everyone with the hot dry weather to be careful while enjoying outside actives this time of year.