Carson City Deputies honored for DUI, underage drinking enforcement
RENO — Five Carson City Sheriff’s Deputies were honored for their outstanding efforts with DUI and underage drinking enforcement.
Deputies Michael Gibson, Erin McMahon, Chris Rivera, Jimmy Surratt and Josh Chaney were all honored by the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force at the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Awards at the Kerak Shrine in Reno Wednesday night. The five deputies were among 22 Northern Nevada Officers who were recognized for their efforts to stop drunk driving and prevent underage drinking. The ceremony was hosted by the Kerak Shrine of Reno, an organization responsible for the Shriners Hospital that helps treat problems like congenital birth defects, burns and spinal deformation.
“We want you to know you are appreciated and every time you arrest someone for a DUI, you may be saving a child from coming to our hospital,” said Potentate of the Kerak Shrine, Michael Fox.
This is the first year the ceremony has been held since it was discontinued in 2010, but Laurel Stadler, rural coordinator for the DUI Task Force, said now was a perfect time to focus back on DUI issues in the community.
“We just wanted to thank the law enforcement that keep our community and roads safe,” Stadler said.
This recognition is important because DUI enforcement is difficult for law enforcement in terms of the training, paperwork and follow up, so the organizations wanted to make sure the officers knew they were appreciated, Stadler said.
“We gave awards to all the nominees because we wanted them to be encouraged to keep up the good work and realize the importance of those DUI arrests,” Stadler said.
The theme for the night was “No New Victims,” so the officers would remember who they were working so hard for. To put a face to their efforts, the ceremony featured Anne and Jim Holmes, a couple who lost their 18-year-old son in a drunk driving accident nearly 20 years ago.
“I don’t have to tell you the comfort our family feels in your presence,” Anne said. “We just wanted to give you a thanks to your dedication.”
The Holmes family talked about how the first responder, a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, helped them get through the loss and how he became like family because of his support to the parents.
“Just know that your hard work for your fellow citizens doesn’t go unnoticed,” Anne said.
The 22 winners were identified by the agency leaders for those who “go above and beyond duty” for their DUI and underage drinking efforts, Stadler said. The five Carson deputies were honored for having the highest DUI arrests for the 2014-2015 year. Rivera, a patrol deputy and Drug Recognition Expert, had the highest number at 48 arrests.
“I am happy doing what I do and keeping the streets safer and DUI enforcement is an important part of that,” Rivera said. “The department is supportive of that with special events such as Joining Forces and DUI checkpoints to help with those numbers to help reduce fatal accidents where alcohol is involved.”
Chaney, a Drug Recognition and Special Enforcement Team deputy, was second with 41 drug and alcohol arrests; McMahon, a patrol deputy, had 26 arrests; Surratt, a K9 patrol deputy had 21 drug and alcohol arrests and; Gibson, a patrol deputy, had 20 arrests.
“They are some of the best of the best officers for enforcement of DUI and underage drinking,” said Carson City Undersheriff Steve Albertsen. “These deputies have always been really dedicated and are always working on those DUIs along with other deputies. They do a great job and it is great to be a part of Joining Forces and the DUI Task Force.”
Other agencies recognized included Sparks, Reno, Washoe, Humbolt and Elko counties.