2015 Alexa’s Team members from Vancouver Island were honoured in Oak Bay on April 27 for their work to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths in B.C. The Island team included four members from Oceanside RCMP and Central Island RCMP Traffic Services.

Oceanside RCMP constable honoured

Cst. Cory Smith recognized for work in efforts to reduce alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths

Oceanside RCMP Constable Cory Smith and three members of Central Island RCMP Traffic Services were recognized last week for their efforts in removing impaired drivers from B.C.’s highways by being named to the 2015 Alexa’s Team.

Cst. Blake Manchur, Cst. Tamara Aquilini and Cst. A.J. Obodzinski of Central Island Traffic Services joined Smith on the mid-Island delegation, part of the Vancouver Island delegation honoured in an awards ceremony in Oak Bay last Wednesday.

In all, a team of 246 officers was recognized in ceremonies province-wide.

Alexa’s Team is a program that recognizes the RCMP and Municipal police officers in B.C. who make an extraordinary contribution to reducing the number of drivers affected by alcohol or drugs on B.C.’s roads and highways. The team is named for Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an alcohol impaired driver in 2008.

“As a family, it is our privilege to recognize the members of Alexa’s Team whom have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of our communities,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother and road safety advocate. “It is good and right to acknowledge and thank those who individually and collectively make an enormous difference, each and every day. In the wake of the tragic loss of our daughter, Alexa, this is one event that allows our family to find some needed good. These members are heroes and deserve our appreciation.”

Members are selected each year and recognized in regional awards ceremonies by MADD Canada, ICBC, the RCMP and supporters of Alexa’s Team.

The awards ceremonies provide an opportunity to recognize the significant decrease in B.C.’s rate of alcohol-related crash deaths since the introduction of the province’s Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) program in 2010. The average reduction from October 2010 to the end of September 2014 was 52%, representing an estimated 238 lives saved, according to information from the 2015 RoadSafetyBC Preliminary Report on Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle (MV) Fatalities.

Since 2008, Alexa’s Team members have processed more than 71,300 impaired driving sanctions for alcohol and drug related driving offences. The total number of Alexa’s Team members has grown from 26 to 1,885, and includes officers from all regions of the province.

— Submitted by Alexa’s Team

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