TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored police officers for getting drunk drivers off the roads at their annual Take the Wheel Law Enforcement Recognition Event, they are calling them DWI heroes.

On Wednesday, the group hosted a ceremony honoring officers for their commitment to keeping drivers safe. MADD honored the brave men and women from departments in Smith and Henderson counties.

“We can’t go out there and arrest people. So we have to rely on them to do that. And we know if law enforcement is visible then people are less likely to commit that crime,” said Kathy Davidson, MADD program specialist.

She also says officers receive awards for leadership, educating youth and training other officers. All things that are crucial as drunk driving numbers continue to spike. 

“Law enforcement plays a critical role in the fight to end drunk driving — and it often comes with a high cost. Each year nationally, officers arrest more than a million DUI or DWI offenders who no longer compromise the safety of our roads. Each crash, each injury, and each death impact not only the person involved in the crash, but also family, friends, classmates, colleagues and more. Each one of these injuries and deaths are 100% preventable,” MADD stated in a release.

MADD presented the following awards:

Education Award Nominees

  • Deputy Sean McClanahan – SCSO
  • Deputy Tony Rucker – SCSO
  • Ofc. Luis Aparicio – Tyler PD

Leadership Award Nominees

  • Sgt. Steven Anderson – Bullard PD
  • Ofc. Robert Trombley – Lindale PD
  • Ofc. Jared Shurley – Lindale PD
  • Deputy Ryan Edmonds – SCSO
  • Lt. Luke Shafer-Tyler PD

Outstanding Service Award Nominees

  • Ofc. Casi Hammer – Arp PD
  • Corporal Joshua Ames – Athens PD
  • Ofc. Matthew Pierce – Bullard PD
  • Ofc. Brooke Wedgeworth – Lindale PD
  • Deputy Alicia Fitzpatrick – SCSO
  • Deputy Dakota Wade – SCSO
  • Deputy Kevin VanHorn – SCSO
  • Deputy Matthew Pierce – SCSO
  • Deputy Sabrina Rodgers – SCSO
  • Deputy Thomas Yarberry – SCSO
  • Trooper Monica Carranza – DPS
  • Trooper Ryan Thompson – DPS
  • Ofc. Blake Kelley – Tyler PD
  • Ofc. Gavin Kirkhart- Tyler PD