Grants Pass Police; Dishonesty, Alleged Corruption
Our society has many checks and balances, however sadly many of these fail when it comes to government organizations where the abuse of authority or power comes into play.
I have witnessed this with persons in the teaching profession where 95% are excellent, but a few bad apples can really soil the reputation of the good ones, however this is to be expected in any job or similar. The problem really starts when others that have the ability or authority to correct the situation choose to look the other way or worse, promote dishonest and immoral behavior.
When this problem manifests itself in police, sheriff, etc. with just one individual, this can become a major "black eye" even when most officers conduct themselves in the the best moral conduct any human can possibly perform (which being human, I believe we all make mistakes, but when a police department covers up mistakes, this becomes a major issue of abuse of authority).
I want to point out I have personally witnessed officers showing the utmost of compassion, in particular a deputy with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department who who checked in regularly with our family and business after a few traumatic events befell our family and business, including the horrible individual who became the primary reason for our move to Grants Pass.
My personal/family bio:
My business bio:
My point is this was incredible compassion and I do not think it is fair to label all police, sheriff as bad because of a few bad apples.
A recent well publicized example of how I think most officers should be known and likely many are of this caliber:
NYPD Officer Whose Act of Kindness Went Viral, My Heart Went Out to Him
This brings me to the Grants Pass Police Department, as I noted I believe the vast majority of police, Sheriff, etc. are good honest and moral persons (& likely many if not most in the GPPD as well), the Grants Pass Police has a terrible reputation and those in authority to stop the few bad apples refuse seem to not have any interest in doing so, rather they make excuses.
This includes Sergeants (one Sergeant in particular is a real power hungry a## that should be picking up trash by the side of the road, not be a police Sergeant), the Deputy Chiefs, the local courts, and the City Counsel/Mayor.
I will also admit I was in disbelief (as to rumors I heard about the GPPD) and hid my head in the sand as to the truth of the alleged corruption and arrogance of the GPPD (or at least those who had the authority to correct the known problem officers).
In my defense my first real contact came two years after moving to Grants Pass with officer Mike Miner.
He was so professional, compassionate, and courteous that it led me to believe that ALL these persons comments about problems within the GPPD must be wrong (maybe this officer should be Chief, as I know he still works with the GPPD). I would also note that I have met others too in the GPPD that also appear to be good moral police officers. As well, my mostly positive experience with LA County Sheriff led me to believe that I should expect the same in Grants Pass (not all experiences with LA Sheriff were positive, but a major difference is the few less than positive experiences led to talks with supervisors that actually acknowledged and addressed the issue).
For this reason it is even more frustrating that the few bad apples are allowed to give our city this poor reputation as a business person in this community, I want to be proud of my local police, not have to place a "but" or axterix next to GPPD (I should note that my Stat software shows MANY searches from around the USA and in particular Oregon with the search query of "Grants Pass Police Problems" or similar, so it is obvious we have a problem that needs fixing).
Before I give examples of the alleged problems with the GPPD, let me once more emphasize that the purpose of this article is NOT to attack the GPPD and the people working hard to do the best job they can, but to hopefully get attention to these problems with a few bad apples and get them fixed (instead of looking the other way) so that the only rumor about the GPPD is how it is the best police department in the the country!!
For those shaking their heads while reading this and wondering what I am talking about, let me give several alleged examples (a couple are my own, while other examples are from other upstanding community members here in Grants Pass, Oregon)
Employees at the Grants Pass BiMart have their vehicles broken into. between approx. 6am & 7 am.
What makes this crime egregious is these vehicles were locked and alarmed an just behind where the employees were working in a well lit area, so this took some major "balls" (pardon my language) and was clearly NOT a crime of opportunity.
The vehicles were damaged beyond being drivable, so these were clearly hardened probably violent criminals that should NOT be roaming the streets of Grants Pass.
So what was the officers response? He was rude according to a witness and refused to even take a police report, he simply handed his card to the victim.
Not only should a police report have been taken, this crime should have been investigated by detectives as this was NOT a crime of opportunity, rather a crime committed by person who likely would not be safe to meet on the street.
SHAME on Deputy Chief Landis for not disciplining this and other rogue officers and SHAME on the Grants Pass City Council for continuing to not take action against the problems with this police department which continues to give the city of Grants Pass a bad name and all the good officers here and elsewhere a bad name as well!!!!
- An upstanding citizen of Grants Pass (she ran a well known Day Care) had a malicious call that she was suicidal. The GPPD shows up at her home and rather than investigate this call for what it was (& considering what she does for a living), they hand cuffed her in front of her children, neighbors, & husband. The officers did not conduct an investigation by asking her kids, husband or neighbors, not did they ask the Pastor of the church that employed her as the director. These offices simply made a presumption of “guilt” and took her into a hospital for a psychiatric exam.
Upon release she called the Sergeant in authority at this time who (typical of the GPPD) treated her rudely and with contempt.
- A local businessman parks in the parking lot at G and 6th Street to drop off packages for his business at the post office, he walks by several officers standing on 6th Street; upon return these same officers stop him and question him like he was a criminal, even though it was obvious what he was “up to”.
- A lady is side swiped shortly after turning north on 7th from Manzanita, she has to chase down the other driver who was obvious distracted. She contacted the GPPD where the officer did not conduct a thorough investigation and instead cited her for an unsafe turn (not even considering the damage to her vehicle as proof)
- I have sat in personally in traffic court and noted that one officer in particular (officer JJ) display his total lack of compassion, ability to tell the truth (even when evidence to the contrary is presented), and simply lack of morals and obvious power hungry abuse of power.
- On July 30 2009 an out of control officer (he does not remember the name, but the dishonesty reeked of Officer Jamie J. & this name is whom he seems to remember) stopped an employee of mine for running a yellow light (not a red) and was rude, hassled him, and worst of all accused him of being on drugs since he was shaking from being nervous. It does not take a brain surgeon to recognize the difference between being nervous and taking drugs. Furthermore everyone who knows this young man knows that he is the nicest person you could meet without a mean bone in his body, as well he does not even touch a drop of alcohol, yet alone drugs.
- Sergeant TH when complained to about Grants Pass Police abuse after an officer bangs on the back door of a home falsely accusing of using illegal fireworks is condescending and corrects the caller for using the word “officer” and stated that he must be addressed as “Sergeant”, if this is not a person with abuse of power problems, I do not know what is.
In this same incident he defended this officers actions (which admittedly although are wrong, was an innocent mistake as he did not know this families personal situation and why banging on the back door sent chills down their spines) by stating he can bang on “any door he wants to at any time”.
Sorry Sergeant TH, this is not the Peoples Republic of China, check your location as this is the United States of America!
- I received a citation for following “To closely” in a minor accident that caused essentially no damage to the other vehicle (it happened under 15 mph), this accident occurred while under the extreme stress created by my daughter’s improper removal from our home by DHS.
See: DHS, DCS, CPS, DCFS Abuse of authority problems
The Officer (JJ) (who lied in court again) never asked me what led up to this and showed ZERO compassion. As well Sergeant TH made up false claims as to insurance companies position and putting words in their mouths (both my insurance agent and my best friend works as a broker for Farmers have denied the officers statement), this classifies this as a lie IMO. Sadly I was in a similar accident where I was rear ended in this same truck several years back with no damage to my truck and mild/moderate damage to his vehicle, the deputy who responded actually talked to us both and decided to not write the other driver a citation (this was at Don Julian Rd. & 7th Av. North in the City of Industry). No one would argue that going 36 in a 35 zone is speeding, however most reasonable persons would agree that writing a ticket for this would be abuse of authority, which in my view (besides the typical lack of compassion the GPPD displays) is what happened here.
I also looked up the legal definition of Careless or Reckless driving which this uncompassionate sergeant implied I could have been cited with rather than the “kinder” citation of following to close (which is a blatant lie) and they do not apply, especially Reckless Driving.
I have been contacted by a friend who has worked as an executive in the insurance industry for decades that stated the Deputy Chief and other’s statement as to the insurance industry preferring that citations be issued regardless of whether a traffic violation was actually broken is an ABSOLUTE LIE.
- As per the Grants Pass Courier Letters; a man who was traveling down 6th St, with his an infant and young child in the car. He spotted his wife & honked and waved at her and was immediately pulled over by a GPPD (probably Officer JJ). The man stated in his letter that the GPPD officer was extremely rude & obnoxious and even addressed the small child asking if he would like to see his father arrested. This behavior by the officer upset the child considerably.
The police chief cited that honking the horn is illegal except in an emergency, while this is true, do we really wants an overly aggressive police force that hands out tickets for something this absurd? Why not tickets for going 31 mph in a 30 mph zone? This can be taken to the extreme.
Has the chief ever heard of the spirit of the law and the intent of the law? Please do the citizens of Grants Pass a favor and retire pal.
- There are many citizens that are also aware of Officer Jamie J. alleged selling of Steroids while the officer on duty at Grants Pass High.
Once again a cover up ensued and the local courts participated in the cover up of what in my personal experience as well as the many persons in town consider an extremely dishonest and slime of a human being that sadly disgraces the badge.
- A lady with the Grants Pass Public Safety Department (the title of this department is laughable IMO based the total condescending lack of compassion here), wanted to argue that everyone else is wrong; which includes my previous attorney, LA Sheriff Deputies, to two insurance agents, to others I respect in the business community. Apparently only the GPPD has it right and everyone else is wrong.
This is also arrogant, and although she and others at GPPD may be correct on some points, however this "we" (GPPD) are right and everyone elsewhere is wrong attitude is despicable.
- Once again officer J.J. argues with a witness of a minor traffic collision outside Boatnik Festival telling the witnesses that they did not see what they saw???.
Commentary: This officer just cannot help himself to stop his lying and making up stories to back up his corrupt behavior; is there no one in this department with the integrity top stand up to this guy and finally give him the boot?
- Complaints by our family about a person that HAS harmed their family in many ways (including a young girl) which is the reason for our move here to be near other supportive family members, have literally been laughed off by the GPPD.
Sergeant TH laughed in a phone call about this problem, likely due to the strange, sickly twisted manner of the continued emails sent by this person. Unfortunately this is not a laughing matter and any professional Police Officer would understand this as a dangerous person that can one day totally snap and the progression of emails & similar presented PROVE this progression as well.
Sadly this incident and the first noted about the Day Care Administrator really display the total incompetence, corruption and lack of morals displayed by what appears to be an inept police department.
What is also interesting to me (after this was pointed out by another citizen frustrated with our police department) is the number of Officers for a town of this size which I have been told is 35. When you consider that the Josephine county Sheriff’s Department does not have anywhere close to this number for about the same number of citizens and vastly more territory to cover, it has got to leave one scratching their heads if we have too many officers with too much time on their hands; this of coarse is an opinion, but a valid opinion/question for any reasonable person. The only way this is going to stop is not only for citizens to stand up and say “No More”, but for those reading this that are even considering visiting the heavily tourist dependent Grants Pass area to boycott Grants Pass. This will send a message that police corruption or dishonesty is not tolerated and soils the reputation of those elsewhere (& even in this department that likely are forced to be quiet) that strive for excellence and morality.
In Summary; I am not saying all the officers are bad, dishonest, corrupt or whatever adjective one would choose, I suspect that the majority GPPD officers are good moral persons, however the buck stops at the top and when the top makes excuses, lies or denies the laws of the United States in defense of bad officers, then we clearly have a problem of alleged corruption or at the very least blatant dishonesty & indifference. I also certainly do not want to encourage a "piling on" as the liberal media has falsely done with sheriff Joe Arpaio (of Arizona).
If this department wants to clean up its act, I can think of at least two officers in particular that should be in the unemployment lines (Officer JJ and Sergeant TH). Worse if something were to happen in the case of last complaint listed here, the City of Grants Pass will be liable for a lawsuit (especially in lieu of what happened in Tucson since this guy has much in common); is this what this town can afford?
I have already instructed my children (especially my child that attends GPHS) to avoid Officer J J (since he has already proven his total lack of character to me and others) & and Sergeant TH. If either of these scum approaches them seeking to speak, for my kids to call 911 and ask for the Sheriff department.
BTW, after showing these incoming emails from this predator whom Sergeant TH found so entertaining, most have been horrified as to that something has not been done and how dangerous this person is;
my point is Sergeant Todd H is clearly scum especially as of Jan of 2012, this dangerous person is still attempting to contact my family that this putrid scum with a badge could care less about!
Sadly we had a solo accident in front of our home (Spring of 2011) involving a drunk driver (our maple tree was damaged), but since no one was hurt, both me and my wife decided to not get involved based on our terrible experience in the past with the GPPD. I still feel bad that we feel that calling 911 is a bad choice in this town, but unfortunately ours and others treatment by our so-called police department has made us feel this way; Is this how a local police force should condition their community to feel???
Hopefully those reading this post will do the right thing; either boycott Grants Pass, call their City Council Person (if they live in Grants Pass, OR), or even call the GPPD to complain.
Remember this quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
OR better hopefully the City Council will DO THEIR JOB AND GET RID OF THE PROBLEM OFFICERS, as well as make changes that does allow future problems of this sort, so that I can remove this blog post that I do not enjoy posting since I have otherwise always been big supporter of law enforcement!
If there has been some "house cleaning" and the alleged problem officers have "moved on" please comment on this blog (although I know Officer JJ is still around as of Jan. 2012).
Maybe the sad reality is that I was spoiled by the several deputies I dealt with in Los Angeles County who showed respect, compassion, and honesty, as well as the Motto; "To Serve and Protect" and frankly I have not seen this positive attitude from the Grants Pass PD.
Please continue to read the comments that have since come in after this article was published