Officer Thomas Henderson was the only officer from the El Centro Police Department to receive the MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Award - CBS 13 on your side's Vanessa Gongora reports
EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - El Centro's Police Officer Thomas Henderson was recognized by the "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" (MADD) organization in July 2022 for his proactive traffic enforcement targeting DUI's in 2021.
MADD's mission is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.
According to Henderson, MADD reaches out to the police departments and talks to supervisors to see if there are any nominations for people that enforce DUI's, get a lot of DUI arrests and help ensure their vision of trying to eliminate any more victims from the streets against drunk driving.
In order to receive a special MADD Law Enforcement Recognition plaque, they require officers to have a minimum of 25 DUI arrests.
Officer Henderson exceeded that expectation at 26 DUI arrests.
"So me as an officer, I go out and patrol the bar areas and the streets mostly at night during the closing time of the bars," says Henderson. "I look for driving or people that are stumbling to their vehicles. We try to get them before they get in their cars but you know, if it's too late or people call in on them, we'll do traffic stops and try to find the drivers who are under the influence so we can protect the innocent motorists in public."
Officer Henderson was recognized for his outstanding efforts at a MADD ceremony held in San Diego. He says the ceremony was for all of San Diego and Imperial County.
"This award means a lot to me because it's all my hard work that paid off," says Henderson. "Getting recognized is always good especially when it's from proactivity and going a step above and beyond and trying to make an impact on the community."
Henderson says it's been more than five years since an officer from the El Centro Police Department received this award.
According to MADD, drunk driving is still the number one cause of death on our roadways.
They say there are 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving a day and 300,000 injuries per year. 10,142 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2019, which is 29 people killed a day or one person every 50 minutes.