Ukiah, CA – August 9, 2023: The Public Safety Foundation website is moving to the Wix platform, approved by the board at its meeting tonight. This will revitalize our online presence and help us stay more connected with the community. Please bear with us in the transition and stay tuned–many thanks!
August 18, 2023 – Fear, anxiety, and stress are emotions commonly associated with school violence and active shooter training. However, Point Arena schools recently adopted a different kind of program, designed to educate and empower not only teachers but also students to prevent and survive a violent event.
The H.E.R.O. Program stands for Hide, Escape, Run, Overcome and is based on the idea that students can be instrumental in not only feeling safe but also being safe in schools and their communities. The program was developed by Safe Kids Inc., a leading organization in active shooter response training. The program emphasizes the importance of situational awareness and provides teachers and students with the tools they need to make quick, informed decisions in volatile situations. It has been implemented in schools across the country, and Point Arena Schools is the latest to adopt the program with the assistance of the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation.
In 2019, the charitable Foundation launched a three-year pilot to test the effectiveness of this innovative program locally. Project partners are Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE), Arena School Districts, Leggett Valley Unified School District, Round Valley Unified School District, and Safe Kids Inc. Entirely funded by Foundation donors, there is no cost to the schools for this pilot. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic caused some delay, but a restart is now well underway.
Teachers received trauma-informed training led by experts from Safe Kids Inc. and included both classroom instruction and hands-on activities. Teachers were taught not only how the H.E.R.O. concepts apply to them, but also how to teach their students through the use of included age-appropriate curriculum, which consists of lesson plans, narratives, and activities.
Point Arena Schools Superintendent Warren Galletti has already seen the positive impact of the H.E.R.O. Program since its implementation in January. Students are more aware and engaged in the conversation of safety while feeling safer on campus. “The topic of school safety is very important to us. Having not only our teachers, but also our students know how to stay safe at school and in our community has improved the overall sense of safety on our campuses.”
“The H.E.R.O. Program is an important initiative that has the potential to transform the way schools approach student health and safety.” said Adam Coughran, Safe Kids Inc. president. “By empowering students with the knowledge of how to stay safe in an age-appropriate way, the program is helping to create a generation of safe thinkers who are equipped with the skills they need to stay safe both in and out of the classroom.”
While the program is focused on preventing and surviving violent incidents, it is also designed to promote a culture of safety and security. By empowering individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to respond to dangerous situations, the program helps to create a more resilient community. The implementation of the H.E.R.O. Program at Point Arena Schools is a testament to the school district’s commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment for its students. The program serves as a model for other schools looking to prioritize student health, safety, and well-being.
The Mendocino County pilot project is a result of the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation’s search since 2012 for an appropriate and meaningful response to the nation’s gun violence epidemic. Finding common ground in the H.E.R.O. program, the Foundation’s diverse board membership unanimously agreed to support this work, serving in the role of a tax-exempt charity with the mission of public safety. Based on a report of results, the Foundation will consider offering expansion of H.E.R.O. countywide. Donations are welcome at www.protectmendocino.org or mailed to P.O. Box 123, Ukiah, CA 95482.
Ukiah, CA – October 17, 2022: You’re invited to join us to show your support for and interest in Mendocino County law enforcement. The Barbecue will be held at 951 Low Gap Road on October 29, 2022 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. Our local agencies are recruiting to fill vacancies now! We hope to see both supporters and candidates at the event. Surveys indicate public support is the #1 factor in deciding where law enforcement candidates apply. Donations are welcome. View or download the flyer for further details.
Willits, CA – March 27, 2021: While we’ve been quiet this past year, the Public Safety Foundation has not been idle. The coronavirus pandemic impacted people in many ways, changing how we do things. Our last in-person quarterly board meeting was held in January 2020, with several remote written board actions in the months following, and Zoom teleconference meetings commencing in October.
A summary of Board of Directors and Ex-Officio Advisors activity to date:
- $3,500 was approved for purchase of 30 non-contact thermometers for use by law enforcement early in the pandemic, when it was difficult to get this needed equipment.
- $2,550 was contributed at the request of the Community Foundation for endowment funding to match an estate gift, which the donor intended as a scholarship to support Mendocino County graduates in pursuit of a career in law enforcement or probation. The fund is to produce one $1,000 scholarship a year in perpetuity.
- The Safe Kids HERO training program was delayed until the three selected school districts can re-open; meanwhile, our consultant and superintendent of schools kept us informed of status and updates. The program is as relevant as ever, if not more so, and we look forward to restarting this three-year pilot.
- The year’s spotlight on racial justice issues was discussed, covering questions, concerns and how current national events compare to local conditions; all agreed that this conversation and hearing from the community are important to continue.
- Research into innovative approaches to mental health service needs was shared, such as Mobile Outreach Preventive Services (MOPS) and a partnership program in Oregon known as Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS).
- Recruitment of qualified personnel was an ongoing issue for our law enforcement partners, and strategies for meeting this need were revisited. In January 2021, up to $5,000 was authorized for a recruitment ad campaign in Police1.com.
We value the support of our members and donors who make this work possible. As an all-volunteer organization, fundraising is limited to meeting law enforcement needs as they arise. The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation looks forward to working with the community in 2021 and beyond. Thank you!
Ukiah, CA – March 21, 2020: This downloadable resource was recently developed by our partner SafeKids Inc., creator of the H.E.R.O. program, in reference to the Coronavirus and kids.
Founder Adam Coughran, M.A., President of Safe Kids, told us: “Realizing we are not experts in this type of danger, yet wanting to help in this situation given our unique ability in providing ways to talk and teach kids about traumatic incidents, we developed this short infographic for parents and teachers. I wanted to share it with you all for use with your own family, friends, within the district, or quite frankly anyone who could benefit from it in these unique times. I hope everyone is safe and healthy, and that this resource can provide a little bit of help or comfort.”
We at the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation urge everyone to follow the directives of your public health officials, and wish all of our community safely through this pandemic.
Ukiah, CA – January 20, 2020: Now you can support public safety and local law enforcement when you shop online at AmazonSmile! The Mendocino Public Safety Foundation has registered to receive donations from Amazon shoppers, as a qualifying charitable organization. At no additional cost to you, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to us when you select the Foundation as your preferred charity. Use this convenient link:
Please continue to shop locally, and if you do shop online, remember the Foundation. Many thanks to all of our supporters, happy shopping, and all best wishes for the new year and new decade!
Ukiah, CA – November 18, 2019: The HERO safety education program is coming soon to three school districts in Mendocino County serving nearly 1,000 students. Following a full year of research into the program and negotiations with its founder, Safe Kids, Inc., the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation gave the green light to start a three-year pilot to test the effectiveness of this innovative program locally.
At the October meeting, the Foundation’s board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with five signatories: Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE); Safe Kids, Inc.; Arena School Districts; Leggett Valley Unified School District; and Round Valley Unified School District. The Foundation will serve as fiscal agent, Safe Kids will provide training to the schools, and MCOE will work with district administrators to gather data that can assist in determining results of the pilot. Based on that eventual report, the Foundation will consider expansion of HERO countywide.
The three school districts were selected through an application process using criteria determined by the Foundation in collaboration with Michelle Hutchins, Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools. The Foundation will cover the approximately $20,000 project cost. We thank MCOE for their support in this effort.
Initiated by law enforcement officers and educators, the program “is specifically designed to teach K-12 students how to respond to violence with simple, easy-to-remember and truly effective strategies. Based on Empowerment Theory, the H.E.R.O. Program gives students the confidence to respond to any kind of danger…teaches students to overcome these situations by empowering them and instilling confidence in their own decision-making abilities.” For more information visit https://safekidsinc.com.
The project is a result of our search for an appropriate and meaningful response to the nation’s gun violence epidemic, almost since the Foundation’s 2011 inception. The tragic shooting a year later in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut began a dialogue to find a role within our tax-exempt 501c3 charitable mission of public safety that could somehow address this ongoing problem in our society. We are gratified and inspired to work with others creating positive solutions that reach across a diversity of cultures.
Posted by J. Orth
Ukiah, CA – June 3, 2019: The Public Safety Foundation is pleased to accept a $10,000 donation from the Savings Bank of Mendocino County for the purchase of a pet disaster relief trailer equipped with crates. As described in their letter:
With the funds from the bank, Sheriff Tom Allman and George Hodges will purchase the trailer and have a graphic image applied that includes the bank’s logo. This pet disaster relief trailer will be used locally and potentially as mutual aid in nearby counties to provide a safe place for pets during a disaster.
Knowing that their pets are safe and receiving care will allow families to have some peace of mind, so they can focus on their personal evacuation and recovery needs.
As we approach another wildfire season, many thanks to our local community bank for this valuable contribution to Mendocino County’s safety needs!
Ukiah, CA – September 11, 2018: The day was a great success, with over 100 served from our new grill. Foundation board members were on hand with Sheriff Allman to welcome first responders and friends. As the lunch hour dust settled, we caught these images of volunteers and lingering guests outside the Forks Ranch Market. We were prepared to serve more, the nearby encampment of far-flung firefighters and personnel having recently vacated the area. Our thanks and gratitude are extended to all who responded to the River and Ranch Fires in Mendocino County, indeed to all those working for public safety in the face of wildfires in California and beyond.
– Photos by J. Orth
Ukiah, CA – September 5, 2018: Please join us Tuesday, September 11 from 11am to 2pm at the Forks Ranch Market, 3152 North State Street, at Lake Mendocino Drive in Ukiah, as we welcome and thank All First Responders and Military Personnel – firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs, veterans, and SAR volunteers in the wake of California’s largest wildfire.
Lunch is free of charge, courtesy of Johnny & Gloria Keyes and the Mendocino Public Safety Foundation. More information: (707) 463-4085. Download poster