Alexa’s Team member and award recipient, Cst. Justin Walton of the Kelowna RCMP, accepts his 2017 Alexa’s Team hat from a Grade 1 student at Quigley Elementary School. -Image: Kelowna RCMP

Alexa’s Team marks 10th anniversary

Anti-impaired driving program supported by police officers throughout B.C., including Kelowna

It has been 10 years since four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed by an impaired driver in Delta.

It also marks the 10th anniversary of Alexa’s Team.

Alexa’s Team was formed in 2008, the year of Alexa’s death, as an anti-impaired driving program to recognize dedicated police officers throughout B.C. who are committed to reducing the number of drivers on the road affected by alcohol or drugs.

In the past 10 years, Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members to 2,400 new and returning RCMP and Municipal police officers from all corners of the province.

Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section’s Cst. Bradley Smith is a 2017 Alexa’s Team Regional All-Star Top Cop.

Recognized for his outstanding efforts of removing 91 impaired drivers from Kelowna’s roadways in 2017, Smith addressed his peers, dignitaries, special guests and Alexa Middelaer’s parents, Laurel and Michael Middelaer, during the annual ceremony at Quigley Elementary School.

“What better way to honour the memory of a precious little girl, Alexa, than to recognize the tireless efforts of those who strive to keep our roads safe, twenty-four hours a day,” said Smith. “Alexa’s legacy is one of impact, of real impact, and we have the Middlelaer family to thank for that. Alexa’s memory is honoured everyday at detachments and police stations across B.C. There is not a day that goes by where her name is not spoken.

“Laurel and Michael, we will continue to honour Alexa’s memory not just in words, but in action, every day and every night all over BC, one road block at a time, one car at a time.”

All of the officers who earned a place on Alexa’s Team over the years, did so because of their diligence in removing impaired drivers from BC roads.

Alexa’s Bus, the province’s mobile road safety unit (MRSU) is another initiative that Alexa’s family advocated for and saw come to fruition. Provincial anti-impaired driving police initiatives are supported by Alexa’s Bus, which has been deployed 293 times in communities around the province since its launch in 2014 as an education and enforcement tool.

The RID 911 program, supported by communities, police services, MADD Canada and other road safety organizations, is another anti-impaired driving initiative that encourages the public to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers, and has also been effective in helping police remove impaired drivers.

Overall, more than 86,534 drivers affected by alcohol or drugs have been removed from the streets, roads and highways of this province by Alexa’s Team members since 2008.

MADD Canada, ICBC, the RCMP and supporters of Alexa’s Team are gathering this spring at four events held around the province to recognize those officers named to the 2017 Alexa’s Team and to celebrate ten years of hard work.

Events were held in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George where officers will be greeted and personally thanked for their tireless work fighting impaired driving by Alexa’s family, road safety organizations and community leaders.

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