Merritt cops honoured for taking drunk drivers off roads
Four Merritt RCMP officers are being recognized by the BCAA Road Safety Foundation for their efforts in removing 76 impaired drivers from roads in 2011.
Cpl. Doug Hardy, Const. Victoria Taylor, Const. Justin Mosher and Const. Brock Hedrick were all honoured as members of Alexa’s Team 2011 early this month in Kelowna.
“Having four from here is really good because there were a lot of drunk drivers taken off the road by just those four,” said Merritt RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore.
She said a “fairly high” number of drunk drivers are on Merritt streets.
“We either get calls from the public about possible impaired drivers, or our officers are driving around at night and they find them,” she said.
Alexa’s Team, formed in 2008, has expanded from 26 RCMP and municipal police officers to 355 today.
Alexa’s Team started after the death of four-year-old Alexa Middelaer, who died when a drunk driver hit her while she was feeding a horse at the side of a road.
Laura Middelaer, Alexa’s mother said: “These are the men and women who are fundamentally responsible for making our roads safe. They have delivered on their promise in an exceptional and meaningful way, and we are proud to be recognizing their excellence today, in honour of our daughter, Alexa.”
The team processed 32,743 drivers since its creation.
“The story of Alexa has inspired police officers to join Alexa’s Team,” stated Allan Lamb, president and Chief Operating Officer of the BCAA Road Safety Foundation. “We are proud to be able to celebrate their diligence and commitment to enforcing impaired driving laws.”
Officers needed to remove at least 12 impaired drivers over the previous year to be honoured.
The officers laid criminal charges, issued the new Immediate Roadside Prohibition, and issued administrative driving prohibitions, IRP fails and IRP refusals.
ICBC joined Alexa’s Team this year.
“We’re proud to be a part of this remarkable initiative that helps get impaired drivers off the road,” said Fiona Temple, ICBC’s director of road safety. “We’re committed to road safety to help prevent such tragedies. We want everyone to get to where they’re going and return home safely.”