Oceanside RCMP Const. Owen Hazlewood says anything that can reduce the amount of fatalities and number of people hurt on the road, is something he’s up for.
Hazlewood, along with Central Vancouver Island Traffic Services officers Const. Blake Manchur and Const. AJ Obodzinski, were recently honoured at a ceremony naming officers to Alexa’s Team.
Alexa’s Team was founded a decade ago in honour of Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl from Delta, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. Alexa’s Team is a program that recognizes police officers who work to reduce the number of impaired drivers on B.C. roads.
In order to be a part of the team, according to an Oceanside RCMP news release, officers must have taken at least 12 impaired drivers off the road in the past 12 months by ways of a Criminal Code investigation or an Immediate Roadside Prohibition.
More than 2,000 RCMP and municipal offers across the province are part of Alexa’s Team.
At the ceremony, Hazlewood said, Alexa’s mother and road safety advocate, Laurel Middelaer, and representatives from the RCMP, ICBC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving usually give speeches about impaired driving and also share numbers of how many impaired drivers were taken off the road in the year.
Hazlewood, who recently transferred to the Oceanside detachment, said he spent 12 years on highway patrol and he’s been a part of Alexa’s Team every year since its inception.
“It’s for doing a job I think we need to do anyway, but being on highway patrol for as long as I was, you go to too many fatals and so many crashes that one decision, that of deciding to drink and drive, is made and it could have easily have been avoided,” he said.
“If people can’t make that decision for themselves, I’m happy to make it for them,” Hazlewood said. “Anything that can reduce amount of fatals on the road, the amount of people hurt, is something that I’m up for.”