Re: March 14 article, "Simi Valley focuses on graffiti vandals":
We learned in this story that at the behest of the Simi Valley City Council a special five-man unit was charged with "cracking down" on graffiti, a problem that "skyrocketed in the city last year."
At the time the Simi Valley Police Department was so charged, earlier in the week, the same newspaper informed us that seven Simi Valley High School students were arrested as part of a circle that may include up to 20 to 50 more students implicated in the use and trafficking of a controlled-substance narcotic going by the street name ecstasy.
This campus drug activity is going on, apparently, in the graffiti skyrocket's red glare, somehow, and somewhat "under the city's radar."
While the city, it's police department and its board of education may have thought they were doing a good job of patrolling/controlling drug use on local campuses, as recently as last week, it appears that effort is falling short of being a qualified success.
As a place to start putting as much emphasis on the problem of drug use in schools as on graffiti in the city, I suggest the Simi Valley Police Department resume it D.A.R.E. program that it shelved last year.
Whether it was because of legitimate budget concerns, or your pique with the city, and its City Council, over salary issues, you need to take that cute little D.A.R.E. vehicle you have "out of mothballs," and put it back on campuses informing students of all ages of the risks and ravages of drug abuse.
That's because a very stark bottom line, here, is that the ugly scars inflicted by graffiti on the facade of Simi Valley walls absolutely pales in comparison to the horrendous scars inflicted by controlled-substance drugs on the fragile psyches and bodies of the city's truly most valuable assets, its vulnerable young.
Police Sgt. Darin Muehler couldn't have "nailed" the essence of the problem more accurately when quoted, by The Star, as saying about taggers, "What causes them to do it (tagging)? I don't know. They just love it."
Could the same not be said about the possibly growing number of young ecstasy addicts?
~ Bob Jackson,