• Sheriff’s Office Volunteer and Reserve Units Assist at Toys for Tots Giveaway

    Merlin, OR ― On December 18, 2010, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office Volunteer and Reserve Units assisted the Marine Corps Reserve with its annual Toys for Tots giveaway event at Merlin School.

    John Lewis, vice-chair of the Sheriff’s Office Volunteer Unit, arrived early and saw that some people had camped there overnight. “The line never seemed to end,” he says.

    Reserve Deputy Chuck Patton, who also volunteered his time, says at first there was some tension in the crowd. People were concerned others were cutting in line. “We got people calmed down and back into the Christmas Spirit. After that it seemed like everyone was in a good mood.”

    And there were plenty of toys to go around. According to Toys for Tots coordinator Celeste Guillory, Josephine County provided 1362 children each with at least four toys for Christmas.

    The Sheriff’s Office Merlin substation is one of many locations in the community that hosts a toy collection box where citizens can contribute gifts starting in October each year. The Marine Corps Reserve asks for donations of new, unwrapped toys for all ages.

    The Sheriff’s Office is proud to have participated in this impressive and heart-warming program for the past five years. Coordinator Guillory says, “Each year we have more deputies on-site and appreciate their presence very much.”

  • Sheriff's Deputy Receives Award for Outstanding Seatbelt Enforcement

    Eugene, OR ― On January 13, Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jim Geiger was recognized by ODOT for outstanding work done through its Safety Belt Overtime Enforcement Program.

    Geiger received the award for making a substantial impact on increasing Josephine County’s seatbelt use rate.

    Prior to the 2010 ODOT “Click It or Ticket” campaign, 94% of Josephine County drivers were buckling up, 3% fewer than the state average. After the month-long campaign, which included advertising and increased seatbelt enforcement, Josephine County surpassed the average with an impressive 98% use rate according to ODOT observation surveys.

    Josephine County was also recognized for its high volume of safety belt enforcement contacts, which totaled 113 for the year and either resulted in warnings or citations.

    The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety also participates in the Safety Belt Overtime Enforcement Program and was undoubtedly a contributor to the great increase in usage that was experienced by Josephine County in 2010.

    Safety Belt Program Manager Carla Levinski says that such substantial use rate increases over a one-year period are extremely rare. She attributes the increase to the ODOT grant and to traffic deputies like Geiger who utilized the overtime grant hours to make a positive difference.

  • Sheriff Gil Gilbertson Takes the Plunge

    On February 4th, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson will lead a team from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office in plunging into the ice cold water of Hawthorne Pool in Medford. The daring dive is part of an event called Polar Plunge, which involves members of the community, law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes who earn pledges and brave the cold to raise money for Special Olympics Oregon. The Sheriff’s Office would like to invite the community to join our team and pledge support to this worthy cause. Each plunge participant must raise at least $50, while sponsors of participants can contribute any amount. Spectators can enjoy the show for free. To plunge with us, or to sponsor a participant, visit

  • Carlton Arrested on 3 Counts Sex Abuse I

    Arrested: Donovan Robert Carlton 04/01/1950
    Aliases: Norm Spencer, Donald Hicks, Ken Laforest
    Descriptors: WMA, 507/180 Brown/Brown
    Address: 305 Kimberly Way, Grants Pass OR


    • (3) counts Sex Abuse I

    • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender

    • Felon in Possession of a Weapon

    On December 22, 2010, Sheriff’s detectives arrested Donovan Carlton on charges of sexually abusing an 8-year-old female child on multiple occasions. At the time of the offenses, Carlton was living and working in the area of Whitehorse Park, located in Grants Pass. Carlton has used multiple aliases and has recently been known as Norman Spencer. Investigators believe there may be other victims of sexual abuse and are asking the public for assistance. If you have information regarding Carlton’s activities, associates or possible involvement in other child abuse crimes, contact Detective Lewelling of the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at (541) 474-5153 x3514, or call our confidential tip line at (541) 474-5160.

  • Wolf Creek Shooting

    DATE: January 9, 2011
    INCIDENT: Shooting (Non-Fatal)
    LOCATION: Old Hwy 99 Wolf Creek
    CASE NUMBER: 11-244
    REPORTING DEPUTY: Det. Sgt. Ken Selig

    Charles H. E. Holland 062769
    Transient in the Grants Pass area
    Gunshot wound to the left calf. Treated and released at TRCH.


    At 0413 hours, 010910, 911 received a call from Charles Holland reporting he had been shot in Wolf Creek while attempting to use the pay phone at the 76 station. Holland elected to drive himself to the Three Rivers Community Hospital where he was treated for his gunshot wound and released.

    Holland told investigators that he stopped at the Wolf Creek 76 service station to make a phone call. While in the process of making the call, he was shot in the left calf by an unknown person. Holland said he was alone at the time, and no one else was observed in the area when the shot was fired.

    Investigators spoke with several people in the Wolf Creek area and processed the immediate phone booth location for evidence.

    Sheriff’s detectives are asking anyone who knows Charles Holland or who may have information concerning this shooting to call Detective Lewelling at 541-474-5153 x3514.

Additional information