City of Ukiah, California

Police Department

Safety · Professionalism · Community Service

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Our Actions Matter

It is important to take a stand—to rise up, to speak out, to say something when something is wrong.   

A few weeks ago, our officers arrested a 12-year-old who was selling marijuana-laced cookies at school.

I think it is wrong that 12-year-olds are selling marijuana.

This 12-year-old student admitted to cooking marijuana into cookies at home and then bringing them to school to sell to other students. The student had already sold cookies to one student, and was trying to sell them to other students when he was caught–and arrested–for the sale of marijuana.

Twelve-year-olds shouldn’t know how to cook marijuana in a cookie, or be aware that they can make money selling marijuana at school.

Twelve-year-olds shouldn’t use or sell marijuana, or have to deal with the problems that drugs or alcohol create.

In fact, it should be just the opposite: 12-year-olds should enjoy being 12. They should enjoy school, passing notes to cute boys or girls they “like” and daydreaming about what they want to do this summer.

Twelve-year-olds should enjoy being kids.  

But I am afraid that 12-year-olds, and kids much younger, do know about using and selling drugs and alcohol.

Our kids learn about drugs and alcohol because they’re everywhere; they’re all over social media, the Internet, television, music; and most importantly, they’re part of our daily lives at home and in our community. They’re a topic of conversation at school and often present in the home.

Our kids watch as drugs and alcohol are used by people they know and often love: parents, older brothers and sisters, extended family members, or maybe a friend or neighbor.

Our kids learn about drugs and alcohol because people use them in the homes where they are being raised.

If we don’t teach our children about how to use drugs and alcohol responsibly or not at all, then our children have to depend on other sources for that information—friends or the media—whose message may not be the right one.

I can’t think of a better time than right before New Year’s Eve to set a good example in using alcohol and drugs—and avoiding drunk driving.

This New Year’s Eve, we will spend time with our friends and family to celebrate the passing of the old year and the promise of the year to come. And I hope we will be good examples of restraint and responsibility with drugs and alcohol, examples we would be proud for our kids to follow.

Please, set a good example and do not drive if you are intoxicated. Almost every day, officers arrest someone for driving under the influence, and on New Year’s Eve the number increases.

During the holidays–especially New Year’s Eve–our officers work hard to make local roads as safe as possible. These officers have seen the results of driving under the influence and are passionate about getting intoxicated drivers off the road.

Police officers don’t want to be mean or unfair; instead, they are committed to saving lives—lives we know that are quickly taken when people drive while intoxicated.

So do the right thing this New Year’s Eve and designate a sober driver, someone to get everyone home safely.

Decide at the beginning of the night who will drive home. If you are with friends who have not planned well and it appears they should not be driving home, don’t take “no” for an answer.

I know this can be tough. It can be incredibly awkward to tell a friend or family member they shouldn’t drive. But please do. Take a stand: do not let anyone drive intoxicated.

I can assure you our officers will take a stand—we will do everything we can to prevent drunk driving.

Please have a safe and very Happy New Year.  

As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: 

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Safety · Professionalism · Community Service