The following press release was issued by the City of Ukiah attributed to City Manager Sage Sangiacomo:
On April 1, Ukiah Police responded to a call reporting that an individual was exhibiting erratic behavior in a public setting. During the incident, a number of methods to subdue and restrain the individual were employed, prompting an investigation regarding the incident’s escalation and whether Ukiah Police principles and protocols were followed.
City Manager Sage Sangiacomo states, “We understand the community concern that has been expressed over the use-of-force by the police during the incident last week, and the City of Ukiah is taking this very seriously. We are launching a full and independent investigation into the incident to determine what happened and whether police actions were consistent with department training and policies. The City also intends to seek an independent review of the existing policies to determine whether they could be augmented or otherwise improved. We believe in the importance of oversight and accountability for our police department. Not only do they need the right policies, training, and tools, but they also need accountability if there are problems that arise. That is essential for keeping community trust in the officers who are on the front lines and responsible for keeping us safe.
“At the same time, we are receiving questions about the nature of police response when addiction or mental health issues are involved. We share the community’s concern that there are not more robust options for addressing these challenges. We are hopeful that the funding resulting from County Measure B can be used to help provide those resources. We look forward to collaborating with other stakeholders and concerned county residents to address this important issue.”
“The City has been and will continue to push for better solutions in addressing the needs for mental illness. But today, in this moment, the City is moving forward with next steps to ensure an independent investigation of the April 1st incident is completed in a timely manner. We are committed to transparency, and will provide more information when it is available.”