Apache Junction police thanked for fundraising efforts at MADD Walk

From left are Apache Junction Police Department Officers Darrin Hatch and Ernest Eaton, Mothers Against Drunk Driving State Executive Director Jason Frazier and MADD Development Officer Rachel Hersh at the Feb. 6 Apache Junction City Council meeting. (Photo by Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

The Apache Junction Police Department had 34 participants at a Mothers Against Drunk Driving walk and raised $3,700 for the nonprofit. Their efforts were recognized at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Apache Junction City Council.

The Phoenix Walk Like MADD 2017 was held 6 a.m.-noon Oct. 21 at the Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, according to www.walklikemadd.org.

Walk participants included corporate sponsors, community partners, law-enforcement agencies and victims and survivors who often walk in memory of an injured or lost loved one due to an impaired driving crash, MADD Development Officer Rachel Hersh said.

“It is my pleasure to recognize the Apache Junction Police Department and their efforts in that day as a whole; in the entire process leading up to the walk; in showing up, having a table, handing out stickers, with little kids walking around with Apache Junction Police Department stickers; and, my favorite part is, their fundraising efforts,” she said. “They were a team of 34 members for this year’s walk, which was 20 members less than Chandler Police Department. However, they blew the Chandler Police Department’s fundraising out of the water. There is over $3,700 with that team of 34 members, the support of the agency, with the support of other officers, with the community’s support. So they win this year’s highest law-enforcement fundraising team award.”

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, MADD is a nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD provides supportive services to drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-hour victim help line 1-877-MADD-HELP. The website is www.madd.org.

MADD offers educational services for young people and parents at no charge. That education and helping victims are some of the things paid for with the fundraising from the walk, MADD State Executive Director Jason Frazier said to the council.

“We see this massive problem with the youth, underage drinking. It’s a major, major problem. It seems like we see on the news every single year – especially in college – we see the underage drinking problems where people are getting so drunk that they are putting themselves in situations … and sometimes losing their lives. That’s something we must end,” he said.

“One of the things that is the most dear to us – and working hand-in-hand with law-enforcement – is our victims services. The average case for DUIs are six months to two years in court and that is a very scary proposition for a lot of the victims that we work with, unfortunately. We have two offices here in Arizona and we are working with hundreds of victims every single year. Six months to two years of their life just going to court and seeing that criminal that caused this devastation for them sitting right across from them, whether it’s a lost loved one or a traumatic brain injury or other injuries, this is something that will never end for them,” Mr. Frazier said.

This year’s walk is Oct. 20 at the Phoenix Zoo. Those unable to walk in the event can register to be a virtual walker to show support and raise money to end drunk driving, according to www.walklikemadd.org.

“This is one of those things that your officers every year go out and participate in the (Arizona) Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and DUI Task Force and impaired-driving enforcement throughout the city here. This is one of the things that they do along with their regular duty and collateral duty and partner and public-safety function,” Apache Junction Police Chief Thomas E. Kelly said to the council. “In addition to that, your officers have gone above and beyond in regards to the MADD program and on fundraising to continue to support this program. It is very important to them.”

The top fundraising trophy given to Apache Junction Police Department walkers at the Oct. 21 Walk like MADD event, according to a post at https://www.facebook.com/ApacheJunctionPD.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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