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MADD honors officers for their DUI arrests

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MADD honors officers for their DUI arrests

Ripon police officers Arlene Wells and Stephen Meece received MADD awards for their DUI arrests during the 2008 year. Meece logged 40 and Wells added another eight.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin/

POSTED June 9, 2009 2:16 a.m.
Manteca, Lathrop and Ripon police officers were among some 90 of their fellow officers from two counties honored at a Monday noon luncheon presented by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) at the Ripon Community Center.
Manteca’s Dan Chesnut was responsible for taking 106 drunk drivers off the streets with officers Davie Bright and Dave Brown logging another 16 each.
Deputies Justin Millmore and Christopher Sterni of Lathrop Police Services had 28 and 20 DUI arrests, respectively.  Ripon motorcycle officer Stephen Meece arrested 40 DUI drivers and fellow officer Arlene Wells pulled over another nine to her credit.
The Stockton office of the California Highway Patrol had 29 officers at the luncheon receiving their “23152” awards and pins with arrests ranging from 27 to 121 per CHP officer.  The Modesto CHP office had 21 officers receiving awards with arrests per officer ranging from 26 to 130.
San Joaquin County’s top DUI arresting officer for 2008 was Clarence Yates of the Stockton Police Department with 281.  Stanislaus County’s officer making the most DUI arrests was Shane Castro of the Modesto Police Department.
The total number of officers at the luncheon represented city police departments, sheriffs’ departments and the California Highway Patrol totaled some 5,000 DUI arrests.
The Ripon Police Department Color Guard posted the colors to open the event and Ripon Chief Richard Bull welcomed the officers and their guests to the community.  
Speakers included Matthias Mendezona, executive director of MADD California, Dr. David Manning regional administrator, (NHTSA) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and Christopher Murphy, director, California Office of Traffic Safety.  
Murphy recognized the chiefs of the various departments saying without their support for the AVOID drinking and driving programs, good things don’t happen.  Murphy spoke of the new OTS pilot program designed to identify motorists driving on suspended licenses in the state – 93,000 of them, he stressed.
Stewart Hicks of the California District Attorney Association told of CDAA’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) program funded through the state Office of Traffic Safety with a three- year grant.  
“We train prosecutors and police officers – we want to increase convictions,” he said.  Hicks said they now have a national network in place for 38 states plus Guam.  “We like to be there so you can win your convictions,” he said.
The program is designed to enhance the ability of California’s prosecutors to effectively evaluate and prosecute DUI and DUI-related vehicular homicide cases in an attempt to reduce the incidence of driving under the influence and of the total number of highway fatalities.
The TSRP Program provides for the intense and specialized DUI prosecution training statewide with a focus on jurisdictions where the ratio of DUI arrests to DUI convictions has been less than the 77 percent statewide average conviction rate.             

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