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Reynoldsburg officers lauded for DUI enforcement
Two Reynoldsburg police officers were recently recognized for their exemplary efforts in getting impaired drivers off the roads.
Officers Dan Downing and Joe Pickering were among 27 central Ohio law enforcement professionals recognized for their efforts at a Feb. 17 luncheon sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Reynoldsburg Lt. Scott McKinley nominated the two officers for the recognition.
“They are extremely productive in getting OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated) offenders off the street,” McKinley said. “They are both highly trained and motivated.”
In 2010, the Reynoldsburg Police Department made 335 OVI arrests, McKinley said. Officer Downing made 121 of those arrests, or 36 percent, while Pickering made 72, or 21.5 percent.
“I think if you look at the arrests those two have made, those numbers have made a big difference,” McKinley said.
Lew Hollinger, chairman of MADD Ohio, said the MADD Ohio Awards Recognition Luncheon is designed to honor the most outstanding law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges in central Ohio for their dedication to the fight against drunk driving.
“These individuals have truly made a positive impact in the communities in which we work and live,” he said in a written statement. “By attending today’s event you are helping to encourage others to lead the way in a combined effort to stop drunk driving once and for all and to save lives.”
He continued, “On behalf of MADD Ohio volunteers and staff members, the families and victims served by MADD Ohio, and as a concerned citizen of the state of Ohio, I extend my deepest gratitude to all who will be honored here today for keeping our roads and highways safe for everyone in our communities.”
Downing, who was hired by Reynoldsburg in 2007, also received a letter of citation and the city’s 2010 DUI Ace Award from Police Chief Dave Suciu in February.
“With 121 arrests for drug and alcohol related traffic offenses you have distinguished yourself and truly contributed to the goal of creating a safer community,” the award reads. “Your efforts in this area make you an example for others to follow and show your dedication to the city of Reynoldsburg and its citizens.”
Also in February, Pickering was named the 2010 Reynoldsburg Division of Police Officer of the Year. Pickering, who is a member of the Army reserves deployed to Afghanistan for the next six months, was hired by Reynoldsburg in 1996.
“Your work ethic, professionalism and attention to duty are evident in the numerous criminal and traffic cases you have been involved in during the past year,” he said. “With over 250 drug arrests, including 40 felonies, and over 40 drunk driving cases, you have demonstrated a level of services that exemplifies the spirit of this award.”
McKinley said all Reynoldsburg officers have received training in advanced detection, apprehension and prosecution of persons under the influence of alcohol, “where they are trained to pick up on the signs of drunk drivers.”
McKinley said the officers are making a difference in the city of Reynoldsburg.
“There’s still a portion of society that seems to think it is OK to drink and drive,” McKinley said. “Federal studies show of the people killed on the highways each year, a good portion are due to alcohol and drugs. Look at how many they have managed to get off the streets of Reynoldsburg.”
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