MADD to honor law enforcement at 'Take the Wheel' reception - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

MADD to honor law enforcement at 'Take the Wheel' reception


One East Texas organization will spend some time Friday recognizing the work local law enforcement does to keep us all safer.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving of East Texas is hosting a "Take the Wheel" law enforcement recognition luncheon for Smith County officers this afternoon.

Fourteen different people from eight different Smith County departments will receive awards Friday afternoon. MADD officials say they just want to thank and honor the people who are in the trenches every day, arresting drunk drivers, enforcing DWI laws, and educating the public.

"This is solely about supporting the law enforcement," said David Dorman, the TxDOT Court Monitoring Project Specialist for MADD. "This is a pat on the back and it's a solid, we thank you and here is an excellent opportunity for fellowship and here's some award, some memorabilia that you can take with you and remember that we appreciate you."

MADD officials say one of the hardest, yet most important things law enforcement officers and judges and prosecutors do to keep the streets safer is enforce no-refusal weekends several times a year.

"A no-refusal weekend is a weekend or a set period of time where just because someone may refuse to provide a specimen, the officers do what is necessary to go ahead and take a specimen, which would be securing an evidentiary search warrant, which is a lot of work to get, especially when you're talking about an offense that is a misdemeanor in range typically," Dorman said.

There are five different types of awards being presented Friday, awards for judiciary and prosecutorial service, leadership, DWI education, and outstanding service.

"They are the leaders in their domain. And they are pushing the envelope in high-quality enforcement," Dorman said. "You know, numbers isn't the point. It's the quality. It's having a solid prosecution, it's having a solid case, and working collectively as a community, so they are really helping others in their domains follow best practice."

Friday's luncheon is expected to be attended by local law enforcement departments and city officials.

Those who are being honored include The Honorable J. Dan Connelly from the Bullard Municipal Court, The Honorable Christi Kennedy of the 114th District Court, Assistant District Attorney Leslie McLean of the Smith County District Attorney's Office, Trooper Lieutenant Jimmy Jackson of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Sergeant Blake Lockhart of the Tyler Police Department, Officer Luis Aparicio of the Tyler Police Department, SRO Officer Paul Hammack of the Arp Police Department, Officer Jeremy Farmer of the Bullard Police Department, Trooper Richard Hoover of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Officer Andrew Mackey of the Tyler Police Department, Trooper Trevor Phillips of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Assistant Chief of Police Craig Robinson of the Arp Police Department, Officer Todd Spakes of the Overton Police Department, and Trooper Ryan Thompson of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Another luncheon will be held in late July to honor law enforcement and judicial officials in Gregg County.

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