Students in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District learned about the dangers of alcohol and illegal drugs during the annual Red Ribbon Week festivities.
Red Ribbon Week, which began Tuesday and will end next Thursday, was started in 1985 to memorialize Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was killed in the line of duty earlier that year.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department:
For over four years, Special Agent Camarena was assigned to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he was hot on the trail of the country’s largest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. Special Agent Camarena was also extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline. On February 7, 1985, Mexican drug traffickers, kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered Special Agent Camarena.
Special Agent Camarena gave his life in the fight against drugs, as well as opened up millions of people’s eyes to the dangers of illicit drugs and the international scope of the drug trade. Red Ribbon Week was created in Calexico, California in Camarena’s hometown, where residents began wearing red ribbons to remember and commemorate his ultimate sacrifice. The Red Ribbon soon gained momentum across California, as well as throughout the rest of the country. The Red Ribbon Week event was officially formalized in 1988, when President Regan and Mrs. Reagan served as the Red Ribbon Week honorary chairpersons.
As part of Red Ribbon Week, the LASD's Success Through Awareness and Resistance Unit participated in activities at local schools. One such event took place Tuesday at Mira Catalina Elementary School in Rancho Palos Verdes, where deputies from the Lomita Sheriff's Station taught students about the dangers of illegal drugs.
Special visitors included Crime Dog Officer McGruff and Tula, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever. Tula served three tours with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, where she intercepted more than 100 improvised explosive devices, according to RPV Mayor Susan Brooks.
More information on Red Ribbon Week can be found at redribbon.org.