The Wichita Crime Commission once again will be participating in the 2012 Holiday Drive for DUI Victims. The annual event is a project of the DUI Victim Center of Kansas and the Wichita Crime Commission and is designed to draw public attention to the crime of drunk driving.
“This year, law enforcement agencies in Sedgwick County and other parts of Kansas will participate in the 2012 Holiday Drive for DUI Victims,” said Crime Commission Executive Director Gordon Bassham. “This is the second year the project has spread beyond Wichita.”
El Dorado Police Department and Butler County Sheriff’s Department are among those who will be taking part this year. Others include the police departments in Andover, Bel Aire, Derby, Dodge City, Haysville, Maize, Park City, Salina, Valley Center, Wellington and Wichita. Other sheriff’s offices include Ford County, Saline County, Sedgwick County and Sumner County and Wichita State University police departments and McConnell Air Force Base will also take part. Volunteers of the DUI Victim Center and St. George Greek Orthodox Church assisted with the preparations of the event.
“Each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day we see an increase in drunk driving,” said DUI Victim Center of Kansas Interim Chief Executive Officer Jan Davis. “As in past years, law enforcement officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers. We also want to raise public awareness of the problem of drunk driving and encourage citizens to report those who have had too much to drink then get behind the wheel.”
On Tuesday, volunteers from the DUI Victim Center of Kansas visited the participating law enforcement agencies to thank officers, deputies and troopers for their work in making area streets and highways safe from drunk drivers. As part of the “thank you,” volunteers from the DUI Victim Center of Kansas provided the officers with snacks for the Thanksgiving holiday week. In addition, they tied special red ribbons each bearing the name of a DUI victim on law enforcement patrol cars. The tying of the ribbons on law enforcement vehicles is being provided by volunteers from the DUI Victim Center of Kansas.
“Each ribbon signifies the person driving that vehicle will be driving for victims of a senseless crime that often takes the life of an innocent person,” said Davis. “Every time you see a red ribbon on a car you should be reminded to be on the lookout for drunk drivers.”
Most of the food for the law enforcement officers in the Wichita area is being prepared by DUI Victim Center volunteers Rebecca Baker Franklin, Jolyn Apsey and Priscilla Taggart. In some of the smaller surrounding towns, food is being donated by Subway. All the food costs are being donated by St. George Christian Cathedral. Preparation for the event was handled by volunteers from St. George’s.