A local RCMP officer was one of 41 members from the North District honoured for his perseverance and dedication to getting impaired drivers out from behind the wheel on May 2.
Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services RCMP member Const. Lee Simpkins has been recognized as a 2012 Alexa’s Team Member for his efforts in successfully removing 49 impaired drivers from local roads last year.
Cpl. Clint Lange of the 100 Mile House RCMP detachment says he is pleased with Simpkins’ success in this area of local police work.
“Drinking and driving is a huge concern for everybody in the community and we encourage all our officers to be active in enforcing the impaired driving laws when they are out there.
“Const. Simpkins has distinguished himself by taking this role very seriously in pursuing drinking driving investigations, and we are happy he is taking such a proactive approach to enforcing [these] laws and getting them off the road.”
Simpkins is a Drug Recognition Expert [DRE] for the detachment, which involved intensive training in the field, Lange notes.
“That particular aspect of police is certainly new and he has taken a keen interest in that in providing field sobriety tests for drug impairment. We call on him when there is a case that we suspect somebody has consumed drugs and is driving.”
Alexa’s Team was formed in remembrance of Alexa Renée Middelaer who lost her life at age four after being run down by a vehicle driven by an impaired driver in May 2008.
The recognition ceremony was held at the Immaculate Conception School in Prince George.
Alexa’s mother, Laural Middelaer, was in attendance and addressed the group along with Deputy Superintendent of Motor Vehicles Stephanie Melvin, Prince George Mayor Shari Green and ICBC Road Safety co-ordinator Diana Pozer.
To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, police officers must have removed at least 12 impaired drivers from the road in the previous calendar year through a criminal charge investigation for alcohol or drug impairment, or through a 90-day roadside or administrative driving prohibition.
In 2012, these 41 members of Alexa’s Team in the North District were responsible for issuing more than 1,150 impaired driving related charges and sanctions.
This is in addition to the thousands of 24-hour, three-day and seven-day driving prohibitions issued by North District members throughout the year.