Thirty-five North District RCMP officers were named to Alexa’s Team during a ceremony in Prince George on Wednesday.
Joining the team by taking at least 12 impaired-either alcohol or drug related drivers off BC roads are 100 Mile House RCMP Cst. Jeff McMichael and Cst. Alex Hutt, Williams Lake RCMP Cst. Andrew Waters, and Quesnel RCMP Cst. Kevin Cranmer.
The Constables in 2016 took a combined 172 drivers off the roads through either a Criminal Code Investigation or an administrative 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. Cst. Cranmer alone accounted for 109 roadside failures.
The awards are named after 4 year-old Alexa Middelaer, who died on May 17, 2008. She and her aunt were feeding a horse in Delta, BC when a drunk driver hopped the curb and hit them.
Alexa’s parents, Laurel and Mike, attended to celebrate the officer’s accomplishments.
Laurel spoke to the room about her daughter, sharing stories of Alexa confronting rowdy teenagers and even once convincing lifeguards the toddler could jump off the high dive.
“It’s a privilege for me to talk about my daughter but it’s damn tough. I look around the room and I thinks she could’ve been here with those kids in the school. She would’ve been a force to be reckoned with and that reality keeps on you as a mother and I can just say it’s like a kick in the stomach.”
Laurel called her daughter courageous, tenacious, just, real, and passionate and believes the qualities are shared amongst this year’s members, which is why she continued to speak at these ceremonies.
“Impaired driving used to be the number cause of criminal death in Canada so now that those numbers have decreased, we still need to have that presence. I think these events bring a little bit of inspiration and motivation.”
Over the past nine years, Alexa’s Team has grown to 2,154 members and processed 79,379 for alcohol and drug related driving offences.
North District Media Relations Corporal Madonna Saunderson says a total of 977 impaired drivers were pulled off the roads in the North District (communities north of and including 100 Mile House) last year.
(With files from Spencer Gowan with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)