The following is a press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department:

Hoopa Valley Tribe to Host Community Meeting with Humboldt County Sheriff to Address Drug Epidemic

Working collaboratively with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Hoopa Valley Tribe is hosting a Community meeting with Sheriff William Honsal and Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Chief Rolando Ramos to address the local drug epidemic.

Drug related deaths in Humboldt County have increased by more than 40 percent over the last two years from 32 in 2020 to 53 in 2021, according to data provided by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year. Furthermore, the HCSO reported that fentanyl related deaths increased from 9 in 2020 to 34 in 2021.

Humboldt County drug related death statistics greatly exceed both the state and national averages. A 2019 report also reveals that Native Americans are twice as likely to die from a drug overdose than non-Hispanic whites. These data provoke an aggressive approach to addressing the drug problem locally.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe has taken several major steps to combat the drug epidemic such as the recently announced grant award for an outpatient behavioral health complex on the K’ima:w Medical Center campus, adult and juvenile wellness court, the development of a formalized Exclusion Ordinance procedure and enhanced prevention activities through various local youth outreach programs.

“I encourage everyone in our community to attend as we need all the help we can get to come up with solutions to address this drug problem that has severely affected us all,” Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Joe Davis said.

The community is invited to attend and tribal employees who attend the meeting from start to finish will be granted administrative leave provided the leave is approved by their manager (see memo).

“We’re reaching out to the community and working collaboratively with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to improve services to the Hoopa. This effort was promised by the Sheriff. We are doing our best to be transparent and bring dialog directly to the community,” Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Chief Rolando Ramos, said. “Your voice is important. Your issues and concerns are important.”

WHEN: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 @ 2 p.m.
WHERE: Neighborhood Facilities Building
WHO: The entire community is invited