So Much to Be Thankful For in Ukiah
I don't think a day goes by without a police officer receiving criticism of some type.
Sometimes people question when a patrol car drives by too fast: off to coffee and donuts?
Sometimes it's the way an officer stands, with a hand resting on their gun: looking a bit too serious?
Or maybe it's the officer who just gave someone a ticket for speeding: couldn't find something more important to do?
While it’s a bummer to hear undeserved criticism, I am genuinely grateful when people take the time to recommend ways we can improve. I don't think I can remember a day when we haven’t received a little constructive criticism. Honestly, it is one of the things I appreciate most about our community.
Because this criticism – this constructive commentary – means people care. As an old football coach used to say, “We shout, because we care.”
Caring is the cornerstone of a community; otherwise we’re just a bunch of people who live near each other. It's really caring for each other that means the most; it’s caring for people that matters the most. When I see people first in line to help others, those are true leaders.
We are very lucky to have so many people who care about our community, and because they care, they make sure their voices are heard.
Most importantly, these same people find ways to help out, to volunteer, or maybe just donate a few bucks towards improving our great community.
This Thanksgiving, I’d like to take a moment to recognize some of the many reasons we can be thankful to live in such a wonderful community.
Our community’s non-profit organizations are some of our greatest treasures.
Local non-profits feed, clothe, house, and protect those in need. The Ford Street Project, Food Bank, Buddy Eller Center and Plowshares provide basic necessities. Project Sanctuary provides a safe haven for domestic violence victims. And, the Ukiah Valley Christmas Effort makes sure those who are less fortunate receive food and gifts during the holidays. If you can, please find a way to help these organizations.
One way to help is to donate to the Ukiah Daily Journal’s Annual Food Bank Drive. This week marks the start of the fundraising effort. Year after year, thanks to the Journal and generous donors, our community provides more than $100,000 dollars to help feed Ukiah. With the economy continuing to struggle, your help is needed more than ever.
Our community’s service clubs are among the very best.
Local service club members are active during the holidays and year round. Members of clubs like Rotary, Elks, Lions, Kiwanis, Soroptimist, Emblem – and many more – find ways to help others through their community engagement and funding for local organizations and projects. Whether it’s Guitars for Troops to help our veterans, donating dictionaries for third graders or providing scholarships to young women, service clubs take on projects where the need is greatest.
Our faith-based community always finds a way to help.
Local churches, temples, meeting houses, synagogues and other places of worship are filled with people who help the less fortunate, both here in Mendocino County and elsewhere. Sometimes it’s medical mission trips, other times it’s collecting food and clothing, and sometimes it’s simply holding others in our hearts.
Our local youth activities are second to none.
We have so many ways kids can participate in after school activities. Whether they are school-sponsored or community-based, these activities provide local youth with opportunities to succeed.
Whatever their interests, local children can find something to do, including sports, martial arts, performing arts, the Boys & Girls Club, the Arbor on Main, music lessons, Math-Engineering-Science-Achievement (MESA), organized high school clubs, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, or volunteering at local non-profits (like helping with the animals at the Humane Society).
Our local businesses support the community again and again.
From retail shops to local consultants, and from local farmers to local restaurants, our business community is diverse and amazingly supportive. No matter how many times our community asks for help, our businesses find ways to respond. They donate to countless causes, events, and community needs, and they provide generous sponsorships and scholarships to our community’s youth.
Our schools help people thrive.
From preschool to junior college, local schools offer education to take people where they want to go in life. We have some incredible teachers who devote their entire careers to improving the lives of our children. These teachers spend countless hours, in the classroom and after school, teaching and tutoring students, buying educational supplies, and mentoring young adults as they face difficult decisions.
And thanks to the Mendocino College Foundation’s scholarship program, those willing to work hard can have the opportunity to earn a college degree.
Community arts entertain and enrich.
From the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra to the Ukiah Players Theater to the Grace Hudson/Sun House Museum, our rich artistic and cultural community was forged through community donations and hard work. These arts and cultural programs provide a critical link to our community’s past, and they enrich our lives. Without these programs, our community would lack an important part of what makes us who we are.
Our Department’s Thanks
I am deeply thankful for the courageous people I work with, the people who dedicate their careers to public safety.
Every single day, our public safety personnel respond to calls for help, which puts them in a position to see many of our community’s worst problems. Yet, despite the problems – and a little constructive criticism – these dedicated people get up and go to work day after day because they get tremendous satisfaction out of helping others.
Our community is very lucky to have such caring and dedicated public safety personnel, people who want nothing more than to serve and improve our great community.
Wherever I turn, I find people who make our community better because of their energy, drive, and determination to improve the lives of others. For each problem our public safety responders must deal with, we can point to several shining examples of good things our community has to offer.
The Thanksgiving holiday gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what we can be grateful for. On the behalf of our community’s public safety personnel, thank you, Ukiahians, for all you do to make our community such a wonderful place.
As always, our department’s mission 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.