Kamloops police recognized for efforts in busting drunk drivers

At least 156 impaired drivers were stopped on a night when they could have killed somebody, thanks to a special team of police officers recognized in Kamloops recently.

Kamloops, BC – At least 156 impaired drivers were stopped on a night when they could have killed somebody, thanks to a special team of police officers recognized in Kamloops recently.

On April 27, 2021, Kamloops Community Leader for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Roxanne Engli, attended the Kamloops RCMP Detachment to pay tribute to 13 police officers from the municipal and provincial traffic units who made it onto the 2019 Alexa’s Team. To maintain proper social distance, only a handful of officers attended the ceremony, which honoured their pre-pandemic efforts.

You represent the extraordinary efforts and commitment police have to reducing impaired driving, preventing deadly crashes, and keeping our roads safe, said Ms. Engli during her presentation.

Alexa’s Team is a program that recognizes RCMP and municipal police officers from around BC who demonstrate a real commitment to reducing the number of impaired drivers on the roadways.

Kamloops RCMP officers were honoured for their efforts in removing impaired drivers from the roadway. From left (back row) Cst. Dan Eccleston, MADD's Roxanne Engli, Cst. Mike Scherpenisse; (middle) Csts. Patrick Ellis and David Bigcharles; (front) Cpl. Wayne Chung.
Kamloops RCMP officers were honoured for their efforts in removing impaired drivers from the roadway. From left (back row) Cst. Dan Eccleston, MADD’s Roxanne Engli, Cst. Mike Scherpenisse; (middle) Csts. Patrick Ellis and David Bigcharles; (front) Cpl. Wayne Chung.

The team was named after four-year-old Alexa Middelaer who was killed by an impaired driver as she was standing at the roadside feeding a horse in May 2008.

“Good traffic cops and those who take impaired drivers off the road, save more lives than any other unit,” said Kamloops RCMP Superintendent, Sydney Lecky. “They’re very passionate about what they do. I hope it’s something they never get tired of because it means so much to us.”

To be nominated for Alexa’s Team, police officers must have removed at least 12 drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol from the road in the previous calendar year through a Criminal Code investigation or the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) administrative process, in addition to issuing Administrative Driving Prohibitions, IRP Fails, and IRP Refusals.

“We know that impaired drivers kill and injure the most people on the roadways,” said Corporal Wayne Chung of the Kamloops RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit. “In memory of Alexa, it’s an inspiration to remove these people from the roadway before their actions tragically impact the lives of others.”

The 2019 Alexa Team Members recognized by Ms. Engli include:

Wayne Chung

Patrick Ellis

David Bigcharles

Mike Scherpenisse

Dan Eccleston

Mark Richardson

Matt James

Paul Koester

Dawn Gillingham

Gordon Sauer

Cody Fisher

Scott Richards

Mark Blacklock

Kamloops RCMP

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