Thirty-One police officers received recognition on Thursday May 6th, 2010, for their efforts towards the reduction of Impaired Driving and the reduced carnage caused by alcohol related offences. The police officers, from around the North District, were inducted into a new group of enforcement officers, who have become a part of Alexa's Team.
For consideration, the individual police officer was identified once they had submitted a minimum number of Impaired Driving files for charge approval with Crown Counsel. Eight (8) of the thirty-one (31) officers received special recognition for their extraordinary efforts. The recognition was presented by the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, along with Laurel and Michael Middelaer, Alexa's parents.
“Alexa’s Team” was formed in remembrance of Alexa Renée Middelaer, who lost her life in May 2008, at age four and a half, after being run down by a vehicle driven by an individual suspected of being impaired at the time. Her grandparents sustained emotional shock and physical injury. Her aunt who was standing with her by the side of the horse paddock continues to recover from life threatening injuries.
A 56-year old Delta woman, who was driving the vehicle, has been charged with two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm and death, and two counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and death.
The story of Alexa has inspired police from all regions of British Columbia to prevent the deaths of other innocent people.
"Alexa's Team has been a very inspiring initiative," stated Insp. Ted Emanuels, Operations Officer, R.C.M.P. Lower Mainland District Traffic Services. "The team has raised awareness in the police community and members have responded to the problem of impaired drivers and the challenge of removing them from the roads of their communities."
Insp. Emanuels noted that impaired driving investigations, charges, 24-Hour Prohibitions and Administrative Driving Prohibitions, have increased 50 per cent in 2009 over 2008.
In 2009 , the Alexa's Team alone, with 175 team members, charged 2,873 Impaired Drivers. The served an additional 1.199 Administrative Driving Prohibitions for 90 days, and served 5,028 additional 24-Hour Driving Prohibitions. That accounts for 9,100 impaired drivers being removed from the road in British Columbia by the team members only.
In 2009, the thirty-one North District members of Alexa's Team were responsible for charging 552 Impaired Drivers, serving an additional 63 Administrative Driving Prohibitions for 90 days and serving 270 additional 24-Hour Driving Prohibitions.
The North District Traffic Services Unit also took the opportunity to recognize Laurel and Michael Middelaer for their support, diligence and commitment to Impaired Driving enforcement. They were presented with an image of a mother black bear, nose to nose with her newborn cub.
The North District police officers travelled from as far as Prince Rupert, Fort Nelson and Dawson Creek to be recognized and meet the Middelaers. Each of the police officers was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation & Recognition, a baseball cap with the team logo, a photograph of Alexa and a personal correspondence from the Middelaers.
To read the story of the tragic accident CLICK HERE