Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP officers were among Alexa’s Team members recognized for helping take 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.
Officers removed 238 impaired drivers from the road.
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.
“Each year we are encouraged, inspired and respectful of the work that these officers do to keep our roads and communities safe,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother and road safety advocate.
“To know that our daughter Alexa is a source of inspiration to these committed men and women is humbling, and their dedication to go above and beyond is very meaningful to the Middelaer family. Thank you for this sunshine in our lives. Well done Alexa’s Team 2016.”
Vernon-North Okanagan officers on Alexa’s Team 2016 include Const. Chad Gravelle; Const. Philip Dobernigg; Const. Ted Yadernuk; Const. Tibor Baldauf; Const. Gary McLaughlin; Const. Robert Janssens. Gravelle, Dobernigg, Yadernuk and McLaughlin were recognized as team all-stars. They are the top impaired driving investigators in the province. Each has taken at least 34 criminally impaired drivers off the road in 2016.
Alexa’s Team and provincial anti-impaired driving police initiatives are supported by Alexa’s Bus, the province’s mobile road safety unit (MRSU). The bus has been deployed 262 times in communities around the province since its launch in 2014 as an education and enforcement tool, helping police educate British Columbians about road safety, and removing impaired drivers from the road at the scene.
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 been effective in helping police remove drivers affected by alcohol from the roads.
Alexa’s Team recognition events are held in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George. Officers are personally thanked by Alexa’s family, road safety organizations and community leaders for their tireless work fighting impaired driving.