MADD recognizes officers with most DUI arrests

Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Kitsap County took a moment Friday night to honor those who keep our roads safe — the law enforcement officers who made the most DUI arrests in 2003.

The officers were recognized in a ceremony at the Red Lion Hotel Silverdale. Ten officers, one from each agency in Kitsap County, were honored.

“I’m so proud to be standing in front of you, I’m humbled by you,” said speaker Loie Lennon to the officers after they received their awards. Lennon, a member of MADD, lost her son, Steven to a drunk driver in 1991 on SR 16.

Seven of the 10 officers had been awarded in the past for having the most DUI arrests. The ceremony began with the presentation of awards for the nine kids who won the poster/essay/video contest. Although only one of the winners, Cori Taylor, attended the ceremony.

Taylor, 15, was presented with a $100 savings bond. She created a PowerPoint presentation as part of a class project last year at Fairview Junior High.

“I thought it would be cool to do something like a slide show,” Taylor said.

Her PowerPoint presentation consisted of pictures of drunk driving victims in the hospital and cars that were involved in drunk driving crashes, with captions under each picture.

Ten officers were then recognized for their DUI arrests in 2003. One of the officers, Deputy Ken Dickinson, was presented his award first because he was called to respond to a fatality accident in South Kitsap. Each officer was presented with a digital camera, a plaque and a coffee mug.

“These are the officers with the top DUI arrests, but every police officer is important to us and every arrest means one less death we’ll have on the road,” Lennon said.

The six additional officers who were honored received certificates recognizing their efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. Community awards were also presented to employees of the Kitsap County Prosecutors Office who handled DUI cases last year. A total of 16 employees were recognized and were given an M&M remote control car and a plaque.

A slide show entitled “We’ll Remember You” was shown to the sounds of Diamond Rio’s “One More Day.” The slide show pictured victims of drunk driving and pictures of many of the local road side memorials.

The awards ceremony concluded with a candlelight vigil. As each person walked up to light their candle they made a dedication.

“I hope drunk driving stops,” said 9-year-old Alex Clithero, as he lit his candle. He is the son of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Russ Clithero, who was awarded Friday for having 22 DUI arrests last year.

“Every life that is lost by a drunk driver, that life might have been the one that found the cure for cancer or was the next president. We all know how important it is to save that one life,” said Marsha Masters, president of MADD of Kitsap County.

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