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Benicia Police Officer Receives MADD Award

His efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road earned him an award from MADD California.

Benicia Police Officer Damien Sylvester is a “California Hero” in the eyes of Mothers Against Drink Driving.  Sylvester received the accolade at the 14th annual MADD California Statewide Law Enforcement and Community Recognition event — “Celebrate California Heroes” — held June 2, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. 

During the event, MADD National President Jan Withers recognized law enforcement officials, government agencies and community advocates from throughout the state, who have gone beyond the call of duty to combat drunk driving, educate the public on the effects of this violent crime and who have done their part in maintaining safer roadways and communities.

The MADD website had this to say about Sylvester:

Officer Sylvester has undertaken a personal effort to address the problem of drunk Driving in the City of Benicia. As one of 20 patrol officers, and one of two K9 officers for the city, he made 54 DUI arrests in 2011, which is more than 1-3 of the total DUI arrests last year. He and his K9 partner Mirco, have attended numerous community events, educating both adults and school aged children on the importance of safe, sober driving, bicycle safety and other law enforcement issues. He is a winner of the MADD award multiole times and a great asset to the Department.

More than 600 people were in attendance from 53 of California’s 58 counties, and awards are given to more than 170 individual officers and their departments. 

Longtime volunteer Jerry McCarty received the MADD California Volunteer of the Year Award for her dedication to raising awareness through MADD California’s various outreach programs.  Anne-Berit Condit was given the Heart of MADD Award for her leadership of the Shasta-Tehama Chapter.

“The officers recognized at this event are the top officers in the state for DUI Enforcement. Some of them have personal stories; perhaps they are even victims themselves.  These officers, along with the other award recipients, have seen the tragedies and devastation that drunk driving crashes have caused and they have set out to help protect the community from that devastation.  For that, we honor them today,”  said Silas Miers, MADD California Law Enforcement Program Specialist.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking.  MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP.  Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD. 

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Great Job Officer Damien Sylvester...Keep up the good work. Here is a poem for you!!! DON'T DRIVE DRUNK!!! He and his wife have had problems he's been playing it off like nothing's wrong 'Til one day when he comes home from work early Just to find his wife is gone Oh but he gets into the cupboard Picks out that bottle of gin Drinks like there's no tomorrow And decides to take a spin Don't drive drunk Don't drive drunk, no Don't drive drunk Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are mad Teenager at a happening party Says, "give me one for the road" But he's already so inebriated If you lit a smoke he'd explode But bar host says, "I don't think so" Youngster says, "I can deal" Staggering out he says, "check you all later" But I really don't think he will Don't drive drunk No don't drive drunk Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are mad

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