Message From the Chief
Chief Bill Landis began his career in public safety in 1990 when he was affiliated with the DPS Police Reserves. He was hired as a police officer in August of 1991.
He has served as School Resource officer, Bike team member, Detective, Corporal, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, SWAT Team member / Leader / Commander, CINT (Negotiations) team member, Operations Lieutenant, Deputy Chief and now Chief. He has an Associate’s degree in criminal justice from RCC, a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Eastern Oregon University, and earned a Master’s degree in Justice Administration and Crime Management from Bellevue University. Chief Landis was certified as a firefighter (Firefighter I), Deputy Medical Examiner, and holds an Executive certificate from DPSST (Highest Police certification in Oregon).
Bill graduated from North Valley H.S. in 1979. In 2008 he retired from the Navy Reserve as a Chief Petty Officer (submarines) after 25 years of service. His hobbies include bicycling, motorcycles, and sports in general.
A Personal Message From Chief Bill Landis
I am very proud of our men and women, their dedication, and their commitment to making our community safe. Our first responders are exceptional people with excellent skills. We all take it personally when someone is victimized in our community and are passionate about making those responsible atone for their crimes. Our police officers, firefighters, 911 dispatchers, and all of our support staff are proud to serve our community. Additionally, we are vested in our community and work very closely with community groups, neighborhoods, schools, and other parts of our community to solve a multitude of issues from criminal activity to livability issues, and fire safety with programs such as Firewise.
This allows the community to have ownership in its Public Safety Department and utilize a collaborative approach. 53 sworn police officers, 30 firefighters, 16 dispatchers, along with support staff alone and without the support of their community cannot be as successful. A community who supports their Department through volunteerism, Neighborhood Watch, and a willingness to report suspicious activity or hazards when they occur are critical. Our city is growing daily, but I believe we will continue to make and keep our community safe through our strong partnerships and proactive policing.
Traditional, Yet Non-Traditional
Grants Pass DPS is unique. As Chief, I oversee both police, 911 Communications, and fire/rescue in our community. I, along with my Deputy Chiefs, Lt.'s, Sergeants and Battalion Chiefs focus our cross training efforts toward major emergency management. We work within, as well as with other agencies to provide a core group of emergency managers who are capable of filling a variety of roles as part of the Incident Command System during any police, fire, or rescue emergency.
Our professional police officers perform the duties normally associated with their positions such as patrol, investigations, drug enforcement, and community policing. Non-traditional duties include fire size-up, hydrant connections, fire ground support (such as air supply, logistics, public information, and support in the Incident Command Post).
Our professional firefighters perform traditional fire services functions like structural and wildland fire suppression, building inspections, hazardous materials response, medical and rescue calls, and public education.
Like our police officers, our firefighters assist with non-traditional tasks. It would not be uncommon for an engine company to process an entire accident scene, including driver information exchange when no police officers are available. Another example involves firefighters helping canvass neighborhoods to identify witnesses in major crime scene investigations. We have utilized firefighters who hold special photography skills to assist with crime scene photography. Our firefighters have utilized special tools to help crime scene investigators process evidence.
Other roles include help with traffic control, victim assistance, crime prevention/public education and outer perimeter support at tactical and crime scene situations. They assist us with technical support during police activities involving drug raids and search warrant service.
Firefighter / paramedics are members of the Grants Pass DPS Special Weapons and Tactic Team (SWAT). The SWAT team consists of police officers who voluntarily enhance their training to deal with violent, usually barricaded, armed suspects. Their special training and equipment allows them to safely contain and mitigate an incident along with help from another special team, the Critical Incident Negotiations Team (CINT). This group consists of employees who volunteer to provide hostage / crisis negotiations in criminal events. Negotiators are FBI trained, with the goal of reaching a peaceful resolution.
Grants Pass DPS is proud to have achieved a number of significant acknowledgements. First, community wide, annual surveys reveal a high level of satisfaction with police and fire services. Additionally, our police division was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) from 1993 through 2015 for 22 years of meeting the highest standards of excellence in law enforcement. In 2004, we became the first public safety agency in Oregon to achieve CALEA accreditation for our 911 / Dispatch Center. We have now begun a new chapter in standards by pursuing Lexipol as our policy standards and hope to complete the transition later this year. Finally, our fire / rescue division holds a fire protection class 2 rating with the Insurance Services Office which shows the high standards of protection offered by our Fire/Rescue division.
The responsibility of keeping Grants Pass safe is our top priority. We are pleased with the progressive and professional manner in which we deal with challenges that face us daily. This philosophy, along with support and help from the community will assure that Grants Pass continues to be a safe and prosperous community for many years to come.