Law Enforcement Support

Mission Moment – Nov 2020

Jill C. Mason

Sacramento, California

On April 11, 2004, I was a 26-year-old triathlete, with a master’s degrees, and a career in marketing with an engineering firm in Mountain View, CA. While on a bike ride on Easter Sunday morning, my boyfriend Alan Liu and I were struck from behind by a 69-year-old drunk driver, who was going 55 MPH and had a BAC of .39. Alan was killed, and I was hit about 200 yards later—the helmet saving my life.

At nearby Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, I was put on life support for about a week and underwent a 12-hour back surgery to realign my spinal column. I was transferred to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center on May 11, 2004, where I was also battling a traumatic brain injury that included a few brain surgeries. I emerged from my coma in late June and started to improve, with the help of supportive family and friends and unprecedented medical care.

On the morning we were hit, an off-duty police officer in Santa Rosa stopped the driver just after the crash and took his keys, seeing that he was impaired, and called on-duty officers and an ambulance to come immediately to the scene. The DA in Santa Rosa, Bill Brockley, was instrumental in keeping me informed about the prosecution’s case, supporting me before I was released from the hospital, and during and after the court hearing, where the offender was sentenced to 8 years and a few months at San Quentin Prison.

A few years later, when I was delivering presentations to high schools and other groups about drunk driving, the CHP Academy invited the lead investigators on my particular case to co-present with me to the CHP cadets about my case and their thorough investigation of the scene. In additionAlso, I have had the privilege of presenting for Sonoma County at a law enforcement event they held and was given the opportunity to meet a few more of the people who arrived on-scene after our 2004 crash. I’ve had the opportunity to present with law enforcement through Every 15 Minutes and the Alive at 25 programs held at various high schools and new driver education classes across California.

Fast forward nineteen years, and I live independently in Sacramento. I volunteer for A Touch of Understanding and MADD California. I own a house, am able to drive, have a rescue dog, and a wonderful boyfriend. And of course, my family and friends have all remained by my side since that terrible day in 2004. I am forever in debt to the many law enforcement professionals who have assisted me throughout my journey. My experience is a perfect example of living the life of service once you are sworn in.

My book is on Amazon: Couldn’t Happen to Me

https://smile.amazon.com/Couldnt-Happen-Me-Paralysis-Traumatic/dp/1439240353/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=couldn%27t+happen+to+me&qid=1604433661&sr=8-2

Guest Author – Nov 2020

“Waymo is committed to improving road safety”

Waymo’s Mission – “Waymo’s mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. The Waymo Driver can improve the world's access to mobility while saving thousands of lives now lost to traffic crashes.”

The question is common: If there’s an emergency or incident, how will police and emergency responders interact with a fully autonomous car?

Waymo was the first company to publish a plan to help law enforcement and other emergency responders understand how its technology and vehicles work and be prepared for any situation on the road including emergencies, collisions, and other scenarios where there is no vehicle operator.

Waymo expanded its educational efforts with the release of a training video designed to provide even more information to first responders. These materials are paired with the dozens of police and fire departments that Waymo’s team has trained for police and fire departments in its areas of operation around the country.

As the holiday season approaches, Waymo is proud to team up with MADD for its annual Tie One On For Safety campaign and urge the public not to drink and drive, and always designate a non-drinking, non-consuming driver.

Waymo is committed to improving road safety and ensuring public safety officials have the knowledge and confidence to interact with a fully autonomous car.

To learn more, visit waymo.com/firstresponders

Officer of the Month – Nov 2020

Officer Richard Closius

Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida

Officer Richard Closius has been a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department Impaired Driving Enforcement Squad for 22 years. Rick is also a Drug Recognition Expert, a DRE Instructor, and a Roadside Field Sobriety Instructor.

Officer Closius has made approximately 5000 impaired driving arrests and done 840 Drug evaluations. Besides his nightly enforcement, he is often "called out" on days off for fatal crashes and complicated Drug Evaluations.

Officer Closius is one of the very best at understanding and executing blood warrants since the 2013 Supreme Court McNeely vs Missouri decision. If he took the blood, there is no chance of a technical error. The State Attorney's Office always breathes a sigh of relief when a DUI case has Rick Closius's name on the A Form.

Besides Rick's exceptional work ethic in the line of duty, he is also a dedicated volunteer for MADD.  He attends all MADD Candlelight Vigils and MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Events.  He cares about injured victims and the families of deceased victims.  He shows his support in every way he possibly can.

Rick has achieved MADD Centennial Award status every year, which led to MADD’s Millennial Award.  In Florida Millennial is awarded every subsequent year. Locally MADD has honored Officer Closius with The Trooper Robert Glenn Smith Award and the Officer William Craig DRE Award.

The MADD National Office is proud to select Officer Richard Closius of the Miami-Dade Police Department as its November 2020 Officer of the Month.  We thank him for his years of dedicated service and work in removing impaired drivers from Florida’s roadways.

MADD National thanks Sally Matson, Victim Advocate, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Florida South Affiliate for her nomination of Officer Closius.

MADD extends our deepest condolences to the agencies and families who have lost officers and loved ones in the line of duty

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Ottawa Police Department (IL)

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Cayce Police Department (SC)

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Ohio County Sheriff’s Office (KY)

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For a complete listing of Officers lost in the line of duty, please visit: www.odmp.org

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