Day of the Teacher
Today, May 10, marks the 36th Annual California Day of the Teacher, and this entire week has been designated as Teacher Appreciation Week.
I can’t think of a better time to take a moment to thank all of our teachers for the fantastic work they do.
In Ukiah, we are fortunate to offer students educational opportunities taught by incredible, dedicated teachers at all grade levels—from kindergarten through community college—who devote their entire careers to helping our children develop the skills that allow them to achieve success.
This dedication to teaching and improving our children’s lives is one of the cornerstones of our great community. Thank you, teachers, for all you do! The impact of your work on our kids and their future success is truly immeasurable.
I encourage everyone to take some time this week, and every week, to celebrate the contributions educators make to our community.
Teachers are often the first line of defense in keeping kids safe, but it’s up to all of us to look out for our kids, now more than ever. During the last few weeks, our community has experienced two possible child abduction incidents.
In the first incident, a Pomolita Middle School student reported that a stranger tried to abduct her while she walked home from school. The student said a driver of a van asked her to get inside. When the student refused, the driver began to follow her, continuing to try to convince her to get into the van. The student then screamed “NO” and ran back to school where she contacted staff.
The suspect was described as a white male adult, 30s to 40s, with a full beard and dark hair, wearing dark sunglasses and a dark leather jacket. The vehicle was described as a white panel van with a broken rear taillight and porcelain dolls on the front passenger seat.
In the second incident, a family was parked in a local deli parking lot, just finishing lunch. A seven-year-old girl got out of the car to throw away the lunch trash, while her mother stayed in the car with the other kids. A few yards from the car, the seven year old was contacted by an adult male who is currently on parole from prison. The male asked the girl to come closer to him, offering candy and the girl, afraid for her safety, immediately ran back to her mother’s car. In this situation, because of the seven year old’s brave actions, our officers were able to locate and arrest the male.
I can’t think of many things scarier than having a child attacked or abducted. Our kids should be safe—safe from attacks or possible abductions.
During the last few years, we have received several of these types of reports and I want to reassure everyone that our officers have been providing extra patrols, following through on each and every investigative lead we have received, and working hard to educate our students about what to do if they became the victim of this type of incident.
In these cases, the girls did exactly what we hope every child would do: be brave, scream “NO” run to safety and immediately report the incident.
Teaching our kids a safety plan is essential, and parent’s we need your help to teach children these safety tips:
Do not talk to strangers.
Be aware of your surroundings – don’t focus your attention on your cell phone while walking home from school. Walk with your head up.
Stick together. There is safety in numbers.
Practice basic self-defense. A swift kick to the shins or private parts along with a loud scream will help get the attention of people in the area.
If you’re at home alone, lock your doors.
If something happens to you, report it immediately!
Parents, you can get additional information to help protect your children at:
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.