Having racked up nearly 100 driving-under-the-influence-related arrests so far this year, Glendale police Officer Bryan Duncan received special recognition Wednesday from the state for his efforts to make streets safer.
Duncan was one of a group of about 13 officers statewide who earned the Traffic Safety Excellence award from the California Office of Traffic Safety, said the agency's director, Christopher Murphy, at Glendale Police Department headquarters.
Duncan was recognized in part for "all the time he puts toward helping his fellow officers … just trying to help them get more proficient in DUIs," Murphy said.
Duncan's proficiency in drug recognition is vital in removing DUI drivers from the roads, Murphy said. His work ethic and investigative and interviewing skills also were lauded.
Duncan, who Murphy described as "one of the top DUI officers," also won a Mothers Against Drunk Driving award this year for his high number of DUI arrests.
Duncan credited much of his work in improving traffic safety in Glendale to fellow officers, who he said have worked tirelessly to reduce the number of local DUI-related collisions.
"Without them — this DUI team — this Traffic Safety award wouldn't be here," he said, adding that the award was a surprise.
He and five other officers make up a DUI team that is dedicated to keeping intoxicated drivers off city streets. The team operates three days a week for 12-hour shifts.
After Duncan first proposed creating the unit in 2011, it was established in January. The team focuses on busy traffic areas and neighborhoods with a high number of DUI arrests and collisions.
The team has so far made 315 arrests, Duncan said, making up about 53% of all DUI-related bookings in the city.
Arrests for DUI are up 103% this year from 2011, according to the Police Department.
Arrests of motorists who are under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs also are increasing, he added.
DUI-related traffic collisions are down by 24% so far this year, which Duncan said is due to officers stopping motorists "before they hurt or kill somebody."
Hit-and-run-related traffic collisions were down by 22% this year.
Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa also attributed the reduction in DUI-related traffic collisions to the team's efforts.
"You're making the community a stronger, safer place," he said.