Grants Pass Dept. of Public Safety
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News Releases
GPDPS Recognized for Excellence in Policy and Training - 05/06/21

Last year, Grants Pass Police personnel responded to more than 34,000 requests for assistance— everything from disturbances and criminal investigations to mental health crisis interventions and animal complaints. To maintain a consistent and professional response, the department relies on comprehensive, up-to-date policies.

Recently, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety was recognized by the Lexipol Connect program for achieving Gold level for consistently and effectively disseminating policies to officers, issuing timely policy updates as laws change, and ensuring officers are trained on policies. Lexipol is the nation’s leading content, policy, and training platform for public safety agencies; the Connect program tracks GPDPS performance on five metrics proven to measure success in policy management.

"Our commitment to internal oversight highlights a sincere desire to build community trust and nurture police legitimacy. Policy - and regularly training on policy - is crucial to the success of the department. We are proud to be recognized by Lexipol Connect for continuously improving professionalism and safety," says Chief Warren Hensman. 

The Department of Public Safety’s excellence in policy and policy training enhances community safety by ensuring consistent, effective response based on national best practices.

For more information, visit or


GPDPS Pledges to Advance Women in Policing - 04/28/21

National 30x30 Pledge Aims to Bring More Women into Policing to Improve Public Safety, Community Outcomes, and Trust in Law Enforcement

Today, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has signed on to the 30x30 Pledge – a series of low- and no-cost actions policing agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. The activities help policing agencies assess the current state of a department with regard to gender equity, identify factors that may be driving any disparities and develop and implement strategies and solutions to eliminate barriers and advance women in policing. These actions address recruitment, assessment, hiring, retention, promotion, and agency culture.

The Pledge is the foundational effort of the 30x30 Initiative – a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States.  The 30x30 Initiative is affiliated with the Policing Project at NYU School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).                                                                                                                                

The ultimate goal of the 30x30 Initiative is to reach 30 percent of women in police recruit classes by 2030, and to ensure policing agencies are truly representative of the jurisdiction the agency serves.  While 30x30 is focused on advancing women in policing, these principles are applicable to all demographic diversity, not just gender. 

More than 60 agencies – from major metro departments including the New York City Police Department, to mid-sized, rural, university and state policing agencies – have signed the 30x30 Pledge, with GPDPS being the first in Oregon. The Pledge is based on social science research that greater representation of women on police forces leads to better policing outcomes for communities.

Currently, women make up only 12 percent of sworn officers and 3 percent of police leadership in the U.S. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications. Research suggests that women officers:

  • Use less force and less excessive force
  • Are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits
  • Are perceived by communities as being more honest and compassionate
  • See better outcomes for crime victims, especially in sexual assault cases

“We are grateful to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety for being one of the first in the nation to commit to being a part of this growing movement” said Maureen McGough, co-founder of the 30x30 Initiative, Chief of Staff of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, and former policing expert at the U.S. Department of Justice. “We believe strongly that advancing women in policing is critical to improving public safety outcomes. We look forward to having more agencies follow GPDPS’s lead by signing the pledge and improving the representation and experiences of women in policing.”

For more information, visit


Attached Media Files: 30X30_Image.png
Two suspects arrested in Burglary of Hemp drying facility - 04/25/21

On 4/25/21 at approximately 0930 hours, Officers from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to 2152 NE Spalding Avenue for a reported burglary in progress.  Victims reported two males had entered the hemp drying facility and were taking items later valued at over $20,000.  When confronted, the suspects drove their vehicle at the victim in an effort to escape with the stolen property.  The suspects then exited the vehicle and fled on foot.  The passenger of the vehicle was able to escape the building while the driver of the vehicle ran to the other side of the facility and concealed himself under hemp trimmings. 

Officers arrived at the scene and locked down the facility.  Additional units continued to search the area with the assistance of the Josephine County Sheriff's Department.  Officers at the facility gave numerous commands into the area of the building the suspect was last seen, ordering him to surrender, but he refused to comply.  Due to the suspect remaining concealed and not knowing if he possessed a weapon or was lying in wait for officers, a K-9 unit was called to the scene.  

Additional commands were given to the concealed suspect who did not respond.  After a brief search, the suspect was located and apprehended by K-9 Brock.  The suspect was taken into custody and identified as 59-year-old Jeffrey Charles Waegner.  Waegner was provided medical treatment prior to being lodged at the Josephine County Jail on the following charges: 

  1. Aggravated Theft 1
  2. Burglary 2
  3. Robbery 1
  4. Reckless Driving
  5. Interfering with Police
  6. Resisting Arrest

While Officers were searching for the second suspect, GPDPS received a call from alert citizens at Edgewater Christian Fellowship indicating a subject matching the description of the outstanding male had entered ther facility.  Officers contacted the subject at the church who was determined to not be involved.  

The second suspect was soon located walking on Foothill Blvd near Lawless Lane and taken into custody.  He was identified as 41-year-old Michael James Ellis. Ellis was transported to the Josephine County Jail where he was lodged on a parole violation.  Additional charges are being referred to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office against Ellis.   

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Officer Ken Frownfelter at 541-450-6260

Attached Media Files: Waegner_Ellis.png