ASHLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT
REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT TO THE
A message from the Ashland Police Chief Tighe O'Meara:
The Ashland Police Department’s participation in the You Have Options Program is our commitment to sexual assault victims that they will not only be heard, but also have their individual concerns addressed during both the reporting and investigative process. The person who committed the sexual assault is solely responsible for that assault and one of our jobs as law enforcement officers is to gather evidence that will allow that offender to be held accountable for his/her crimes. Our officers and detectives receive advanced training on trauma interviewing and investigative strategies to identify serial sexual perpetrators to assist us in that goal. None of that work can begin without a sexual assault victim reporting.
We sincerely appreciate every victim of sexual assault who begins the process of reporting their experience at our department. We understand that every victim of sexual assault will have unique concerns during the reporting process and will work with each victim to address those concerns. No one at the Ashland Police Department expects any sexual assault victim to make a decision regarding their participation in a criminal investigation when they initially report. At the Ashland Police Department sexual assault victims are given the time they need to make the decisions right for them, regardless of the criminal investigation. Priority is always given to a sexual assault victim’s physical safety and mental well being.
I hope that those considering reporting will take a moment to read about the 20 Elements of a Victim-Centered and Offender-Focused You Have Options Program Law Enforcement Response. Outlined within those elements are options for reporting at the Ashland Police Department. Our officers and investigators are always available to speak with if there are questions about the reporting or investigative process. There is no requirement to provide any identifying information to get answers and we will work to find a sexual assault advocate and medical care even if the person reporting never intends to file a police report.
Report a sexual assault to the Ashland Police Department using an online report form:
There is no requirement to provide any identifying information on the report form and no fields on the form are required. You may choose to have a law enforcement officer contact you regarding your online report, include your contact information but request that law enforcement not contact you unless your information could assist in another investigation, request that law enforcement not contact you or request that a sexual assault advocate contact you instead of a law enforcement officer.
The Ashland Police Department documents every online report received with a case number. All provided information is preserved within the report associated with that case number. This includes any information regarding the victim or the suspect. Reports can be made by someone other than the victim. All reasonable attempts will be made by law enforcement to respect the wishes of the person who was victimized when a report is received by someone other than the victim. If possible, contact with the victim will be made prior to any criminal investigative process being conducted such as speaking with a reported perpetrator.
To report a sexual assault to the Ashland Police Department by phone dial 541-482-5211.
If at this point you would like to remain anonymous consider having a sexual assault advocate initiate this call on your behalf. The advocate can provide their contact information to the law enforcement officer that you speak with allowing law enforcement a way to make contact with you in the future (through the advocate) if new information is discovered regarding your report.
Depending on the time of day, your call will be answered by either a records clerk (9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST) who is located within the Ashland Police Department or a dispatcher who is located offsite at a county dispatch center. Both will want to know the reason for your call. All Ashland Police Department records clerks are trained on the You Have Options Program. County dispatchers will likely not be as familiar with the program options.
It is okay to say you would like to speak with a law enforcement officer regarding your options for reporting a sexual assault or you may choose to tell the call taker you would like to report a sexual assault. You will be asked for your name, phone number and potentially more detailed information such as where the crime occurred. This question is asked to determine what law enforcement agency will receive your request for contact. If you are not ready to give the exact location where the crime occurred it is okay to be more generic such as “in the City of Ashland”.
Please be aware that crimes are typically investigated by the law enforcement agency associated with where the crime occurred, not where the victim or suspect lives and jurisdictional boundaries between the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Ashland Police Department can vary depending on the specific location of the crime. You are not expected to know those jurisdictional boundaries but providing the specific location of the crime to a dispatcher may help you determine if the Ashland Police Department would likely be responsible for any criminal investigation. In most circumstances the Ashland Police Department is only able to investigate crimes that have occurred within the City of Ashland, Oregon.
It may take some time for a law enforcement officer to return your call. This will depend on the call activity at the time and the number of other pending calls received prior to your call. Most calls to the Ashland Police Department are returned by an officer within an hour.
It will be helpful to have an idea of the questions you would like answered prior to the law enforcement officer returning your call. If you are only seeking information and do not want law enforcement to document any of the information you provide please tell that to the officer at the beginning of your phone call so they do not inadvertently begin a case report without your permission. There is no requirement that you provide the officer with any identifying information or details about your circumstances until you are ready to do so.
Officers at the Ashland Police Department are trained to assist you with locating sexual assault advocacy services and can provide information on how to obtain a sexual assault forensic examination. See below for more detailed information on services for sexual assault survivors in Jackson County, Oregon.
To report a sexual assault to the Ashland Police Department in person you may go to the main police department located at 1155 E. Main Street or call
541-482-5211 and request that a police officer meet with you.
The Ashland Police Department is open to the public for walk-in questions or reports from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Officers are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To reach an officer outside of the hours previously mentioned please telephone the department at 541-482-5211. See below for pictures of the police department and interview room.
If you would like to remain anonymous consider having a sexual assault advocate accompany you to this initial meeting with law enforcement. The advocate can provide their contact information to the law enforcement officer that you speak with allowing law enforcement a way to make contact with you in the future (through the advocate) if new information is discovered regarding your report.
Once inside the lobby of the police department you will be greeted by a records clerk. It is okay to say you would like to speak with a law enforcement officer regarding your options for reporting a sexual assault or you may choose to tell the clerk you would like to report a sexual assault. You may also just request to speak with an officer and tell the clerk you would rather not provide a reason until you are talking to the officer. All Ashland Police Department records clerks are trained on the You Have Options Program.
The Ashland Police Department has a private interviewing room directly off of the lobby. You do not need to enter the secure area of the police department to speak with a law enforcement officer in that interview room. Answers to frequently asked questions about the law enforcement interview process can be found HERE.
Resources for sexual assault survivors in
Sexual Assault Examinations in Jackson County, Oregon:
For free, immediate care after a sexual assault go to any Jackson County hospital and tell them you are there for a sexual assault exam or call HelpLine at 541-779-HELP (4357). Sexual assault forensic examinations are free and available at any time of the day or night. See the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about sexual assault forensic examinations.
Jackson County hospitals:
Rogue Valley Medical Center
2825 East Barnett Rd, Medford
Providence Medical Center
1111 Crater Lake Ave., Medford
Ashland Community Hospital
280 Maple St., Ashland
Visit the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team website for more information on Jackson County resources for sexual assault forensic examinations: www.jacksoncountysart.org
Sexual Assault Advocacy Services in Jackson County, Oregon:
Toll Free: 1-855-216-2111
When can the Ashland Police Department not keep information a sexual assault victim provides confidential or private?
In most cases the sexual assault victim controls who is contacted during an investigation at all You Have Options Program Participating Law Enforcement Agencies. This includes suspects and witnesses. This helps to limit who knows a report has been made until the victim is ready for that information to be known.
In some instances the law does not allow us to offer all of the You Have Options Program’s 20 Elements regarding confidentiality and investigative control. Most often this occurs during investigations involving domestic violence, child abuse or a unique circumstance where there is a significant threat to public safety. Oregon public records requests or court orders may also mandate that the Ashland Police Department release information on a case, though this is unlikely in the vast majority of sexual assault investigations. You are encouraged to speak anonymously with a police officer at the Ashland Police Department if you are concerned about maintaining your privacy during the reporting and investigative process.
If a reported sexual assault involves students of Southern Oregon University the Ashland Police Department does not provide information that identifies the sexual assault victim to Southern Oregon University without that victim’s permission. The Ashland Police Department and Southern Oregon University have a strong collaborative response to sexual violence and all Ashland Police Department officers can assist victims with reporting their experience to confidential advisors within Southern Oregon University. These advisors have the best understanding of the university’s administrative reporting process and are able to discuss options for both reporting and accommodations on campus while still respecting the victims requested level of confidentiality. Click HERE for more information about confidential advisors at Southern Oregon University.
Law enforcement officers at the Ashland Police Department work diligently to identify and collect evidence on perpetrators of sexual assault. Many of these sexual offenders are serial offenders. Documenting reports of sexual assault is an important first step in making it more difficult for these offenders to continue their criminal behavior. When a victim chooses to participate in a Complete Investigation and their case is turned over to an office of prosecution, other reports involving the same perpetrator may also be provided to the prosecutor. This could impact the level of confidentiality requested by other victims. The Ashland Police Department will respect each victims request for confidentiality whenever legally possible.
Who at the Ashland Police Department is responsible for the agency's participation with the You Have Options Program?
All personnel at the Ashland Police Department have received training on the You Have Options Program and the elements offered to all victims of sexual assault. Participation in the Program requires each law enforcement agency to designate, at a minimum, one YHOP administrator and one YHOP trainer. The following listed personnel are serving in those capacities for the Ashland Police Department.
Deputy Chief Warren Hensman
Detective Sergeant Art LeCours
Detective Rick Spence
Detective John Perrone
Questions, comments or concerns regarding personnel working at the Ashland Police Department should be directed to Program Administrator Deputy Chief Warren Hensman .
Any person who has reason to believe a law enforcement agency participating in the You Have Options Program is willfully and repeatedly disregarding the elements of the You Have Options Program is encouraged to contact the You Have Options Program Director directly by using the contact page found HERE.