Law Enforcement Support

Mission Moment – Dec 2020

“I came across another one of her motivational messages, this time in a photo taken of the palm of her hand, on which she had written: “Finish It.”  That short message, which I now wear 24/7 on a bracelet on my wrist”, reminds me of this verse:  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).”

A father’s tribute of love to his daughter

By: Michael Freemen

At 3:30 on February 3, 2020 a small group of cross-country runners at Moore High School left the school and started down the sidewalk on what was supposed to be a 10-minute run through a residential neighborhood.  Less than a minute later, a driver intoxicated by alcohol and marijuana swerved across the oncoming lane of Main Street going 78 miles per hour struck the teens, critically injuring several.  My seventeen-year-old daughter Rachel was killed instantly.  Her friend Yuridia Martinez died the next morning, and her friend Kolby Crum died twelve days later.

Three lives were ended that day and many more were scarred forever because of the senseless, selfish act of one man.

Rachel was loved by everyone she knew. She was a dedicated and determined athlete, having been a student of Tae Kwon Do before pursuing running as a freshman. To stay conditioned, she even joined the MHS swim team her senior year. She had just recently been accepted to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, on an academic and cross-country scholarship, and was so excited to enter this next phase of her life. She literally was counting down the days until her 18th birthday—a milestone she would never reach.

Rachel was a born-again Christian too, and her faith was evident to those around her. After her death, the stories told to us by her friends were heartwarming—stories of how she would go out of her way to befriend and include those who weren’t necessarily part of the “in crowd,” stories of how she was everyone’s “best friend.” Rachel had a habit of writing herself little motivational notes. After her death, I found one on her dresser on a little scrap of paper—it simply said: “I want to trust God more.”

In the days and weeks after the incident (we refuse to call it an “accident”), the Moore community came together once again as it had in previous tragedies such as the massive tornados of 1999 and 2013, displaying the “Moore Strong” spirit that it’s known so well for. Although the outpouring of love and support toward us was immense, our loss was more so. Parents should not have to bury a child. Our comfort came, and still comes, only from the certain knowledge of two things: God is good, and she is with Him.

Those who injure, maim, and kill others while driving impaired almost always have previous convictions for impaired driving, as in the case of the man who killed my daughter. Sadly, we as a society don’t sufficiently value the thousands of impaired driving victims, else we’d do more to keep these habitual offenders off the streets. My hat goes off to each and every one of the many patrol officers, investigators, and prosecutors who do everything within their power to accomplish just that.

After Rachel’s death, I was able to get into her phone and view all of her photos—a priceless treasure indeed.  I came across another one of her motivational messages, this time in a photo taken of the palm of her hand, on which she had written:  “Finish It.”  That short message, which I now wear 24/7 on a bracelet on my wrist, reminds me of this verse:  “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).  On February 3, 2020, Rachel finished the race that God set before her, and she finished well.   May we all do the same.

More of Rachel’s story may be found at https://www.facebook.com/RachelDawnRuns.

Guest Author – Dec 2020

Sergeant Don Egdorf

DWI Task Force

Houston, Texas Police Department

MADD National Board Member and Vice Chair

MADD Law Enforcement Committee Chair

As 2020 ends and we start thinking about 2021, I think it is important to look back on the challenges that we all dealt with in 2020. This year, as hard as it has been, has shown that our nation needs its law enforcement officers, especially our DWI cops.

In a year that we saw bars, restaurants, stadiums, arenas and every type of event you can think of cancelled, somehow, we managed to keep the status quo on one thing; impaired driving. When the COVID crisis started and we began seeing businesses shutting down, I think we all had the same initial thoughts that we would see a drastic decrease in DWI arrests and DWI fatal crashes. Unfortunately, neither of those have happened. Here in Houston, where we have been the unfortunate leader in DWI deaths for many years, we have actually seen an increase in our fatal crashes from both 2018 and 2019.

When we ask ourselves why, there isn’t really a good answer, but we know without a doubt that we are needed more than ever to help make the roadways safer. I want to issue a challenge to all of the officers out there to make an effort to take more impaired drivers off the roadway in 2021. Every impaired driver that you arrest will be a life that is saved. For the Chiefs of Police, elected Sheriffs, Constables, Colonels, or whatever title your department head carries, please make the effort to let your troops know that DWI enforcement is important, and necessary. I have always said you don’t have to be a chief to be a leader, but it sends such a strong message to everyone in the department when your Chief IS the leader when it comes to DWI enforcement.

2021 is already set to bring historic changes to our country. The U.S. House of Representatives just passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level. For states that do not have legal and/or medical marijuana, like mine, we can expect changes to everything that we do. Bills like this one, as well as others that are coming, will all highlight the need to have every street cop trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) as well as highlight the need for many more Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). We are already behind the curve on this issue and we will all be playing catch up.

2020 has forced us to go virtual and we have lost many of the in-person events that we attend like Lifesavers and the DAID conferences and MADD was forced to cancel our 40th anniversary celebration and conference. The good news is that as time goes on, these events will come back. We are working on some exciting projects at MADD that will help the law enforcement community including national and regional summits to discuss impaired driving. Ron Replogle, MADD’s National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager, has been working hard on these events and I wanted to make sure that he is recognized for his work. I may be the chair of the MADD Law Enforcement Committee, but Ron is really the guy doing the work behind the scene to make everything happen.

Make sure that you wear your vest and wear your seatbelt! Remember that the life you save might be your own.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime if I can help.

[email protected]

Officer of the Month – Dec 2020

December 2020 Officer of the Month

Sergeant Jaime Esparza

El Paso, Texas Police Department

Sergeant Jaime Esparza has been assigned to the El Paso DWI Taskforce for the last 15 years. He has been a leader and supervisor of the officers in the Taskforce for over 8 years. Sergeant Esparza is a true leader and provides support, training, and guidance to his team for the safety of El Paso.

Under Sergeant Esparza’s leadership, he has built an exceptional team who are out enforcing the law and keeping the roads safe. Additionally, Sgt. Esparza believes in community and his officers are crossed trained to educate the citizens on Texas DWI law and enforcement.

Over the years, Sergeant Esparza has been a great supporter and partner of MADD. He provides support at MADD’s Victim Impact Panels and supports MADD’s holiday campaign, Tie One on for Safety. He is innovative to change and is always looking for opportunities to grow his level of expertise in drunk and drugged driving enforcement.

Sergeant Esparza provides support to his agency’s Special Traffic Investigations (STI) unit on major cases like Intoxication Manslaughter and Accident Involving Injury or Death. Sergeant Esparza understands the protocols when obtaining evidence in these cases and ensures case law is followed.

In 2018, Sergeant Esparza was awarded the MADD West Texas Leadership Award - Community Difference Maker. Also, in 2018, he was selected to and attended the MADD National Law Enforcement Impaired Driving Summit.

MADD National is proud to recognize Sergeant Jamie Esparza as the December 2020 Officer of the Month. We thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the citizens of El Paso, the State of Texas and MADD. Thank you to Program Manager Vanessa Luna-Marquez in the MADD West Texas-El Paso affiliate for her nomination of Sergeant Esparza for this recognition.

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

Loading RSS Feed

Ottawa Police Department (IL)

Patrol Officer Brian Sember died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. Officer Sember was a United States…

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office (LA)

Sergeant Nick Tullier succumbed to injuries sustained six years earlier when he was ambushed by a subject outside a convenience store at 9611 Airline…

Vestavia Hills Police Department (AL)

Police Officer Darryl Fortner died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. Officer Fortner had served with the…

Knox County Sheriff’s Office (IL)

Deputy Sheriff Nick Weist was struck and killed by a vehicle as he deployed spike strips during a vehicle pursuit of an armed subject….

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (IN)

Deputy Sheriff Doug Sanford died from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19 in the line of duty. Deputy Sanford was assigned as the…

Cayce Police Department (SC)

Police Officer Drew Barr was shot and killed as he and other officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at a home on Rossmore…

Ohio County Sheriff’s Office (KY)

Deputy Sheriff Jerry Critchelow died five days after suffering a heart attack while directing traffic on Route 231 in front of Ohio County High…

Franklin Police Department (TN)

Police Officer II Jeff Carson suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after moving a heavy couch from the travel lanes of I-65 near Cool…

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (CO)

K9 Jinx was shot and killed when responding to a call of a person brandishing a firearm at the 900 block of Manitou Avenue…

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (NC)

K9 Major was shot and killed while attempting the apprehension of an armed robbery suspect in Granville County, North Carolina. A subject involved in…

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

Resources