Three local law enforcement officers honored by MADD
For three Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies, the work that they do on a daily basis is not about the accolades, it is about the end result: saving lives.
Cpl. Leonard Gould and deputies Robert Shaw and Glenn Jones each received the “Century Achievers, Mothers Against Drunk Driving 100+ Award” Monday during a luncheon at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
Each officer is credited with removing more than 100 impaired drivers from Lee County roads in 2009.
“The sum total of lives saved and injuries prevented by these dedicated deputies is significant, and I applaud their extraordinary efforts,” Sheriff Mike Scott wrote in a prepared statement.
DUI enforcement efforts takes a toll on the deputies as each arrest is typically followed by multiple hearings and a court case. Their productivity shows dedication to their job and their community, according to officials.
“They have prevented families from having to deal with the tragedies and losses associated with impaired driving,” the statement reported.
Gould, a Cape Coral resident, has worked for the LCSO for 10 years and has been assigned to the Traffic Unit’s DUI Squad for five years. He said he made about 125 DUI arrests in 2009. This is the seventh time Gould has received the 100+ Award from MADD, being recognized in 2002 and 2004-08.
“The bottom line is that the awards are nice, the accolades are nice,” he said, adding that it is an honor to be recognized. “But it’s about getting people off the road who are going to hurt other people or themselves.”
“My family drives on the roadways and myself,” Gould said. “It’s just making the roadways a little safer and educating the public. It’s probably the number one crime committed that people don’t know that they’re doing.”
In 2007, Gould responded to a traffic accident at San Carlos Boulevard and Pine Ridge Road. He said a drunk driver had hit another vehicle head-on, killing a 1-year-old and 5-year-old riding in the other vehicle.
“It’s so preventible, that’s the part that’s so scary,” Gould said. “It’s a conscience decision that you can make.
“If I can prevent another tragedy, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “If I can prevent one tragedy in my entire career, I’ve done my job.”
Jones, who netted about 115 DUI arrests last year, echoed that.
“I think it’s very rewarding that I’m contributing back to the community,” he said. “I’m taking people off the streets that are a danger to themselves and to the people around them. It’s like taking a gun out of a killer’s hand.”
Jones has been with the LCSO for three years and with the DUI Squad for one year. Prior to working for Lee County, he worked for the Kansas City Police Department and then flew EMS helicopters for about 10 years, taking a leave from law enforcement.
A first-time recipient of the 100+ Award, Jones attributed his hard work to simply doing his job.
“It’s just part of a job that I’m doing, and it just so happens I’m proficient at it,” he said. “It’s a proud accomplishment to reach the level that I reached last year and hopefully I’ll reach and surpass that this year.”
Shaw, a Fort Myers resident who grew up in the Cape and was a Cape Coral Police Explorer, has been employed at the LCSO for three years. He has been assigned to the DUI Squad for two years and previously worked at the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.
He made about 110 DUI arrests in 2009 and had received the 100+ Award in 2000, 2001 and 2008. Shaw said it is always a privilege to receive an award from MADD because it is one of the leaders in DUI enforcement, but this recognition goes beyond that.
“It’s not about the actual award itself, it’s knowing that probably during that time we saved somebody from being killed by a drunk driver,” he said.
“The mass number of crashes we go to, we do see the other half of it where it does take the life of somebody. We get to hear the stories,” Shaw said. “That kind of motivates us to keep going.”