Stopping impaired drivers is the aim of Alexa’s Team.
Police officers from across B.C. gathered at Quigley Elementary on Wednesday, to be recognized for their efforts to stop drunk driving.
Alexa’s Team honoured 61 police officers in the southeastern region of B.C. at a police reception at the school, with 15 officers recognized from the Kelowna area, two of which were named All Stars.
Troy Bevan of the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section earned an All Star award for pulling more than 25 drunk drivers off the road.
“It means at the end of the day we’ve taken drunks off the road that could’ve possibly killed somebody… when you have enough people doing it, it means we’ve taken hundreds of drunks off the roads,” he said.
For Const. Bevan, keeping the public safe means a lot to him.
“There’s an overwhelming sense, as with most police officers, that we want to protect the society and community.”
It’s a never-ending cycle with drunk driving, he said.
“Any publicity with this is good because it reminds people that police are there taking drunks off the road.”
Const. Bevan said this year he has pulled around 60 impaired drivers off the road.
“Since its inception in 2008, Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 to more than 2,000 RCMP and Municipal police officers from all regions of British Columbia. In 2016, the number of team members grew provincially by 268,” states an RCMP release.
“Alexa’s Team is a program that recognizes dedicated police officers throughout B.C. who diligently work to reduce the number of drivers on the road affected by alcohol or drugs. The team is named for Alexa Middelaer who was killed by an alcohol impaired driver in 2008, while feeding a horse with her aunt in Delta, B.C.”
Alexa’s mother Laurel Middlelaur addressed the crowd of police officers Wednesday, with tears in her eyes and her husband Michael by her side.
“We’re very ordinary simple people, and I’m very surprised the story of Alexa has continued to inspire,” said Middlelaur. “It was a tragedy and such an innocent thing for a child to do, feed a horse and I think that’s significant for people in B.C.”
“We’re trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and find some good,” she said.
Alexa’s Team recognition events are held in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George.