Today, eight local police officers attended a ceremony in Kelowna in recognition of making Alexa's Team for 2016. Alexa's Team was created by the Middelaer family in memory of their four-year-old daughter, Alexa, who was killed by an impaired driver while she was feeding a horse in Delta in 2008.
The team was formed to help bring awareness to the seriousness of impaired driving and recognize police officers who work hard to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads. The Middelaer family also played an instrumental role in the purchase and outfitting of Alexa's Bus which is a mobile road safety unit containing all the equipment to function as a police detachment dealing with impaired drivers.
To be nominated for Alexa's Team, a police officer must have removed at least twelve impaired drivers from the road during the calendar year through a Criminal Charge investigation (for alcohol or drug impairment) or through an administrative driving prohibition (90-Day Immediate Roadside Prohibition or 90-Day Administrative Driving Prohibition).
Local members that made the team are from Nelson Police Department, Grand Forks RCMP, West Kootenay Traffic, and the West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit. The top cop for the entire Southeast District was, Constable Lisa Schmidtke of Nelson Police Department currently seconded to the West Kootenay Integrated Road Safety Unit.
Although the implementation of quicker and harsher penalties has most certainly put a dent in impaired driving, it still remains in the top three factors in crashes throughout our area and the Province.
Sgt Chad Badry
West Kootenay Traffic and Integrated Road Safety Unit