For the past many years communities all over the country have participated in Red Ribbon Week and our San Bernardino Mountain communities are no exception. Red Ribbon Week is the largest and oldest drug prevention campaign and it is supported by law enforcement agencies throughout the country and that includes the California Highway Patrol. I remember the first time “we” had it up here in our local mountain communities and there were red ribbons festooned on trees, telephone poles, in people’s yards throughout the local areas. Many residents turned out to help decorate the community with bright red ribbons and hopefully that will occur again this year.
This year’s events will be held October 23-31 when red ribbons are festooned throughout communities to remind everyone to don’t drink and drive and don’t use illegal drugs . The CHP is especially involved because drug-impaired drivers can be as deadly as drunk drivers.
Throughout the upcoming week CHP officers will participate in various Red Ribbon events on a statewide basis. Many of the events will be held at schools and that gives officers the opportunity to share their experiences with students on how drugs can destroy a person’s life. “Drugged driving is a public health concern that puts not only the driver at risk but also passengers and others who share the road,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow “Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among young people.” When their lack of experience is combined with marijuana or any other drug, legal or illegal, the results can be tragic.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign is sponsored by the National Family Partnership, which encourages everyone to display a red ribbon throughout October to help promote drug-free communities and homes. The campaign was initiated in 1985 following the brutal murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico. Camarena, who had been a police officer in southern California prior to becoming an agent in 1974 joined the DEA because he wanted to make a difference in the fight against drugs.
Today, the red ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and to encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since its inception, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families.