The Importance of DUI Recognition
By: Sergeant Vincent Turocy
Tennessee Highway Patrol
MADD Tennessee State Advisory Board Law Enforcement Chair, Sgt. Vincent Turocy of the Tennessee Highway Patrol set aside a few moments during the 2018 Annual MADD Tennessee Statewide Night of Remembrance and Awards Ceremony to talk about why we are grateful for the support and attendance of those who help us recognize our law enforcement heroes for what they do. We felt his encouraging words were worth sharing again as a reminder to those who may wonder why they should participate in and/or attend a MADD law enforcement recognition event.
“Each year we have this banquet, it continues to grow. We are thankful for the support from your department’s leadership in allowing you to attend and be recognized for the work you do throughout the year.
One officer asked me “Why am I being recognized for doing my job? I haven’t done anything special.” The fact is, you have. Every impaired driver taken off the roadway or waterway is a potential life saved, or a potential disability prevented.
This banquet also provides an opportunity for victims to express their gratitude for the work “YOU” do to prevent futures losses like they have suffered and on some occasions thank the officer or first responder that helped them through their trying time.
So each year you make the list, we appreciate you coming and being recognized because it not only gives an opportunity for different victims to personally thank you, but it solidifies our partnership and our mutual goals to eliminate impaired driving and ultimately to eliminate fatal and injury crashes due to impaired drivers.
Each of you can be the catalyst that ignites change within your community. Next year, bring a newer officer here and let them experience what we do and why we do it. Show them how they can affect change. Who knows, we may have some Paul Steins, Chad Staggs, Jeff Buckners, or William Travis’s out there waiting to be discovered. So preserve that fire that drives you and when you’re ready to move on to a different path, be sure to pass the torch to someone just as ambitious and passionate as you are when it comes to Impaired Driving Enforcement. They may save your life.
-Sgt. Vincent Turocy
Editor’s note: In a normal year, MADD hosts nearly 100 law enforcement recognition events (LERs) across the country. In 2020, due to COVID-19, all the MADD LERs are being held virtually. We certainly hope that 2021 will allow us to get back to in-person banquets that will allow us to again hold LERs in person to honor the many law enforcement heroes who so passionately enforce and provide education on the dangers of impaired driving.