Finding Great People

Recently, the Ukiah Police Department presented our annual performance report to the Ukiah City Council, which highlighted our most important success: decreasing crime in our community. I am proud to announce that last year, crime decreased by 15 percent, continuing a five-year trend that has included a 25-percent decrease in crime.


This is a significant achievement, as there is no more important goal than reducing crime in our community. 


One of the ways we decreased crime was to solve crimes as quickly as we could after they were reported—this prevents those same criminals from committing additional crimes. Last year, our officers solved 77 percent of the reported violent crimes in our community, compared to the statewide average of 45 percent. We also solved 53 percent of reported property crimes, compared to the state average of 12 percent.


We did this exceptional work because of the great people within our organization–our dedicated law enforcement professionals. As you can imagine, I’m really proud of them. I am especially proud of them because they did this work while we were understaffed. Imagine what we could do with a full roster!


Right now, UPD and other law enforcement agencies in Mendocino County face a significant challenge–finding more great employees. We are looking for local men and women from diverse backgrounds who want to serve their communities. We need people patrolling the streets as officers and deputies, as well as working in the jail, in dispatch, and even in our probation system.


Before you say a career in law enforcement is not for you, consider this: Mendocino County law enforcement leaders are committed to recruiting and developing local people—people like you—who have grown up in our communities, people who have chosen to live and work here, people who are invested in keeping our neighborhoods and business districts safe.    


We think finding local, community-minded men and women is essential to creating and maintaining great organizations. So, yes, we are looking for you!


Be aware that becoming a law enforcement professional is not easy. You must complete several steps.


  • Applicants must pass a series of tests, including written and oral interview examinations.


  • Applicants must pass a background screening that reviews all sorts of information, including any previous drug use, criminal history, domestic violence history, financial management, vehicle operations and past tickets, character references, and employment history. 


  • Applicants must also pass extensive psychological and physical examinations.


Although we intensely screen every applicant to ensure we hire great people, getting through the testing process is not as difficult as you may think; and once you’re hired, the rewards of this profession can be enormous.


I am often told how dangerous law enforcement has become, that only those who are 6’4” and able to lift a piano are likely to be successful. This simply isn’t true. Whether you’re big or small, male or female, white or Latino or any other ethnicity, all you need is a strong desire to help others, to make a difference.


So, how can you find out if law enforcement is a good career for you?


A great first step is to schedule a ride-along with us, whether it is through the police department, the sheriff’s office, or the probation department. This gives you a front-row seat, so to speak, so you can see for yourself what we do and how you might fit into our organizations. You can learn more by visiting our websites, Facebook pages, or by giving us a call.


If you’ve ever thought about a career in law enforcement, now is a great time to pursue it. We’d love to hear from you so we can answer any questions you may have. You may be surprised to find out law enforcement is a perfect fit for you.


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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