Monday, August 18, 2014

MADD Honors CCSO For DUI Enforcement Initiatives

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Florida honored the Collier County Sheriff’s Office with the Outstanding Dedication To DUI Enforcement Award during the annual Law Enforcement Recognition Ceremony on Aug. 1 in Fort Lauderdale. Pictured from left to right:  Lori Burke, program specialist, MADD Southwest Florida; Sgt. Tim Cornelius; Lt. Mike Dolan; Cpl. Robert Lewis III; Cpl. David Christiansen; Cpl. Dan Darren; Cpl. Darrel Kehne; and David Pinsker, executive director, MADD Florida.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving Florida has honored the Collier County Sheriff’s Office for the agency’s efforts to stop impaired driving.
CCSO was recognized during MADD’s 14
th annual Law Enforcement Recognition Ceremony on Aug. 1 in Fort Lauderdale.  

The ceremony recognized law enforcement officers who work daily to ensure Florida roadways are kept safe from drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs.

MADD presented CCSO with the Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement Award. CCSO was in the large/urban agency category, along with agencies of similar size and composition to CCSO, including the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and Coral Gables Police Department.

Since the late 1990s, with the inception of its initial state Department of Transportation grant-funded DUI Task Force , CCSO has sought out new and novel ideas to aid deputies in combating impaired driving. Since that initial grant of three vehicles and deputies, CCSO has continued to work toward eliminating impaired driving within the county. These innovations include unmarked, unconventional vehicles, nontraditional decaling, and novel public relations and educational initiatives.
“The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has been devoted to striving toward the elimination of drunk driving for over two decades through the innovative ideas of dedicated members,’’ Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.

MADD honored CCSO for not simply developing one program but utilizing long-standing and new initiatives aimed at education and enforcement as part of the agency’s approach to reach as many people as possible to remind them of the dangers of drunk driving.

CCSO also has initiatives in place to educate not only adults but teens as well.

Additionally, the agency encourages members to work with MADD in support of the organization’s goals and the services it provides to the victims of drunk driving.    
Here’s a look at some of the initiatives CCSO is using to eliminate impaired driving in Collier County:

* A retired CCSO patrol car is being used as an educational tool to promote a DUI message. The front half is marked as a patrol car with the wording, “This ride is about $10,000.” The back half is the traditional black and yellow like a taxi cab with the words, “This ride is about $20.” The vehicle is displayed at community events, along with a CCSO-produced video that outlines the ramifications of being arrested for DUI. The car is also is displayed alongside an electronic message board when CCSO is preparing for a DUI enforcement operation.

* Three patrol cars are outfitted with all of the typical equipment including external overhead light bars and push bumpers, but the twist is they sport special “ghost” striping. This special striping is subdued in normal operation yet reflects light such as that from passing vehicles. These stealthy cars enable deputies to witness infractions and impaired drivers without being as readily identified as a law enforcement vehicle, yet still providing a visual deterrent when the striping is visible.

* The agency provides DUI education to high-schoolers through the use of the Simulated Impaired Experience (SIDNE) go-cart program. Through the use of this vehicle and other tools such as Fatal Vision Goggles, many local teens have been able to experience the perils of drunk driving first-hand and in a safe and controlled environment.

* Six CCSO members are currently certified Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), two of whom are instructors. DREs are certified to detect and identify people under the influence of drugs and to identify what drug categories may be causing the impairment. The certification requires more than 100 hours of rigorous class work and is so difficult that only a few law enforcement officers pass the course each year.

In addition to this prestigious agency award, several CCSO deputies were nominated for individual recognition at the ceremony:
* Cpl. Darrel Kehne - MADD Florida Hero
* Cpl. John Neiderhiser - Breath Technicians/Breath Test Operators
* Cpl. Daniel Darren - Underage Drinking Prevention Individuals or Agencies
* Cpl. Daniel Darren - MADD Hero for Drugged Driving Enforcement
* Cpl. Daniel Darren - Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement
* Cpl. Robert Lewis III - Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement
* Sgt. Tim Cornelius - MADD Hero for Drugged Driving Enforcement