A local police officer is being honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his dedication and efforts in keeping drunk drivers off Southwest Riverside County roadways.
Riverside Police Officer Genaro Escobedo will be receiving the M.A.D.D California Hero Award at the 14th annual M.A.D.D California Statewide Law Enforcement & Community Recognition Event slated to be held in Sacramento on June 2, Sgt. Skip Showalter said in a released statement.
“Officer Escobedo manages to balance his patrol duties with keeping a keen eye out for drunk drivers,” Sgt. Showalter said in a phone interview. “What he does is unique because in between calls, he makes a focused effort to look for DUI offenders.”
The seed for Escobedo’s enthusiasm in keeping drunk drivers off the streets was planted in him when he was a young police officer trainee in the explorer program and assisted in a DUI arrest.
“I was on a ride along and the officer I was with stopped a drunk Hispanic man driving a truck filled with family members,” Officer Escobedo explained. “The officer needed help communicating with the driver, who was obviously intoxicated, because he didn’t speak any English.”
The driver was arrested and Escobedo walked away from that incident with a sense of pride knowing that he possibly helped prevent a tragedy.
“If that man would not have been arrested, I am pretty certain someone in that vehicle would have been seriously injured or killed.”
The awards celebrate selected law enforcement officers throughout the state of Calif. for their outstanding efforts in stopping drunk drivers and the prevention of underage drinking.
“I am honored and humbled to be chosen to receive this award,” Officer Escobedo, said. “I didn’t do it all on my own. My fellow officers help tremendously as we work as a team to make the streets and the community safer.”
Escobedo may be humble, however, in the last year he is responsible for making 61 DUI arrests.
“Each officer is selected, by their agency, as the individual(s) who they believe have made the biggest impact -whether it be the most number of DUI arrests, presentations given at schools, or other community involvement,” M.A.D.D’s Assistant State Executive Director Brenda Frachiseur said.
She added that M.A.D.D believes that every DUI arrest made is a potential life saved.
“The work of Officer Escobedo and others like him throughout California are a testament to their commitment to keeping our communities safe.”
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.