On April 27, 2016 the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force and the Reno Kerak Shrine presented the 7th Law Enforcement Awards. We celebrated those hardworking officers, deputies and troopers who put their lives on the line for us every day to keep us safe on the roads and highways of Northern Nevada.
At the dinner, we honored the “best of the best” in law enforcement. Those who work on a daily basis to identify, apprehend, and arrest DUI offenders who choose to break the law and those who work to prevent underage drinking, attacking this epidemic from several perspectives. These award winners, as identified by agency leaders, have gone above and beyond their respective job descriptions and have become role models in their agencies.
Our theme for the awards was “Dedicated to the goal of No New Victims.” And that is the goal with all of our efforts with the DUI Task Force…. whether it be our Victim Impact Panels, community coalitions, or our legislative work.
To reflect our goal of No New Victims, we accepted nominations for our awards in three categories: most DUI arrests for 2014/2015 combined; outstanding effort in DUI enforcement, crash investigation or victim support; and outstanding effort in underage drinking prevention, party dispersal and compliance checks.
Here is a list of the officers who were recognized for their outstanding leadership:
Deputy Casey Negus – Humbolt County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Jaqueline Mitcham – Humbolt County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Michael Fox – Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Steve DeCarli – Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Miguel Diaz – Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Jeff Peebles – Lyon County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Chris Rivera – Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Josh Chaney – Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Erin McMahon – Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Jimmy Surratt – Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Mike Gibson – Carson City Sheriff’s Office
Officer James Hammerstone – Sparks Police Department
Officer Warren Conley – University of Nevada Police Services
Officer Dean Donnelly – Reno Police Department
Officer Matthew Bunn – Reno Police Department
Officer Charles Higley – Reno Police Department
Officer Kevin Hendrix – Reno Police Department
Sgt. Mike Edgell – Nevada Highway Patrol
Sgt. Eddie Bowers – Nevada Highway Patrol
Trooper Mikel Ortega – Nevada Highway Patrol
Trooper James Angel – Nevada Highway Patrol
Trooper Jeffrey Howell – Nevada Highway Patrol
Special Awards were presented to the following:
Judge Scott Pearson, Reno Justice Court
In recognition of outstanding efforts in bringing the 24/7 DUI offender program to Nevada and implementing a pilot program through your court. Thank you for your commitment to the safety of all Nevadans.
Judge William Gardner, Reno Municipal Court
In recognition of many years prosecuting DUI offenders through the Reno City Attorney’s Office, adjudicating DUI offenders as a Reno Municipal Court Judge and training professionals at both the National Judicial College and law enforcement academies. Thank you for your commitment to the safety of all Nevadans.
John Johansen, Office of Traffic Safety
In recognition of the many years and wealth of knowledge that was shared with the state of Nevada through the Office of Traffic Safety, we award and applaud the outstanding efforts of John Johansen in the areas of alcohol awareness, DUI prevention, and underage drinking prevention throughout his career. You are truly missed as an advocate in the safety community and were a friend to many.
Full circle back around to our theme of “Dedicated to the goal of No New Victims” we also presented a special gift to our Task Force Chairman Jim Holmes and his wife, Annie, on the 20th anniversary of the loss of their son, DJ Benardis. Jim and Annie were drafted into this DUI world as victims suffering the worst possible loss, that of their 18-year-old son at the hands of an alcohol-impaired driver. They channeled their grief and loss into a leadership role with the Task Force and have spoken to thousands of offenders, students, community members, and legislators about the possible and predictable consequences of drinking or drugging and driving. We thanked them for their continued dedication and presented them with a magnolia tree in honor and remembrance of DJ’s life.
Thank you to all of these award recipients and our entire prevention community for all that you do to keep our roadways and communities safe in Northern Nevada!