This year, MADD Florida wanted to illustrate the significance of our state-wide recognition program by highlighting top honorees from the recognition ceremony in 2018.

In this interview, we feature Captain Meg Ross, University of S outh Florida Police Department. The University was nominated for Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement and Prevention. The nomination reads:
USF PD is responsible for all law enforcement roles and responsibilities on one of Florida’s largest college campuses. Located in Hillsborough County, which annually is recognized as one of Florida’s deadliest areas for impaired driving crashes and fatalities, USF took a proactive approach to combating impaired driving on the campus. Over 24 times a year, USF PD hosts a DUI saturation patrol and checkpoint in the areas with a high rate of impaired driving crashes and arrests. They partner with local agencies within the community to include them in their initiatives and attends multi-agency operations elsewhere as well. USF PD personnel are active within the Greek Life organizations on campus, as well as the student government and housing facilities speaking on impaired driving issues and substance abuse to prevent this deadly crime. USF PD is the annual host law enforcement agency for Walk Like MADD Tampa and they have dedicated personnel who are active members of the MADD Advisory Board as well as other working committees. USF PD annually excels in the FL DUI Challenge where the branded message “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” can be found within their social media, websites, billboards, and variable message boards throughout the campus.

Recently, we spoke to Captain Ross. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What was the significance/meaning of receiving top honoree at the 2018 MADD Florida Recognition Ceremony?

I was honored that MADD gave my agency recognition. We are a small, yet committed university police department. The significance of receiving the top honoree for Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement and Prevention is that we are able to use the recognition in our community, show our support for your organization and demonstrate what we do makes a difference.

2. What was your reaction when you found out you were nominated?

I was surprised and wasn’t clear about the specific nomination category. However, the excitement at being nominated and chosen for the top honoree was moving.

3. How did it feel when you found out you received top honoree in your nominated category?

I was very pleased that I was there to accept the award. Again, I was very surprised because the competition was pretty stiff.

4. If you could do one thing, leave one mark in the community, what would it be?

The one mark in the community is to work towards MADD’s goal of No More Victims. Every day, USF PD’s goal is to connect with young people in a unique and meaningful way. Being the Captain of a university police department gives me more opportunity to participate in some of the best kind of law enforcement because we get to combine education and enforcement. We get to touch young people’s lives in a way that has lasting meaning everyday. I’ve been at USF PD for 31 years. It has been a rewarding career.

5. Will you be attending this year’s ceremony?

I don’t plan on attending this year.

Fun Fact Question: What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? My family and I love to travel. We frequently travel to Oregon. Two of my most favorite places to travel are Ireland and Scotland.