Santa Paula Times

SPPD Lieutenant Troyce Reynolds (left) and Chief Steve MacKinnon (right) flank Senior Officer Jeremy Watson, Officer Randy Haumann and Officer Larry Johnson, who were honored with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Awards.

Three officers, SPPD honored with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers awards

May 28, 2010
Santa Paula Police Department

The Santa Paula Police Department’s “Zero Tolerance” approach to impaired drivers and the hard work of three officers - already shouldering a heavy duty burden - resulted in the trio being honored, and the SPPD overall, by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Los Angeles/Ventura County Chapter. SPPD Officer Randy Haumann was honored again the following evening with the MADD Hero Award at a statewide ceremony held in Sacramento.

MADD recognized Santa Paula Police Senior Officer Jeremy Watson, Officer Randy Haumann and Officer Larry Johnson at an awards ceremony held April 23 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. MADD lauded the three officers for their exceptional enforcement efforts relating to drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

According to SPPD Sergeant Ryan Smith, “In 2009, the three officers arrested 198 drivers who were under the influence of alcohol within the city of Santa Paula.”

Officer Haumann was responsible for a whopping 94 of the arrests. “Because of his exceptional effort,” Smith said Haumann was also awarded the MADD “Hero” Award at the statewide ceremony April 24. MADD also awarded the Santa Paula Police Department as a whole for their exceptional efforts in DUI enforcement.

Santa Paula Police officers arrested 296 alcohol and/or drug impaired drivers in 2009. “As a result of the department’s aggressive impaired driver enforcement,” Smith said the city experienced a 24 percent reduction in roadway crashes in 2009 compared to 2008.

“The Santa Paula Police Department takes a ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to impaired drivers.” And, Smith said, “Citizens are encouraged to call 9-1-1 to report suspected drunk drivers.”

“Drunk drivers,” said SPPD Police Chief Steve MacKinnon, “continue to be a major public safety hazard. These three officers have made it their mission to get drunk drivers off Santa Paula roads. The numbers are all the more remarkable considering the fact each of these officers continued to carry on their full case load.”

Johnson, who joined the SPPD in 2005 as a Reserve before being hired as a full-time officer June 2007, was honored for his devotion to duty in 2008 as the Santa Paula Police Officers Association Officer of the Year and the Santa Paula Kiwanis Club 2009 Officer of the Year. His strong initiative and service with the department’s SRT (Special Enforcement Team) were noted among the reasons Johnson received the honors.

Watson received a Police Officers Association of Ventura County Medal of Merit in 2009 for actions above and beyond the call of duty, rushing into a burning two-story rehabilitation center to make sure the residents were fully evacuated. He joined the SPPD in March 2003 as a Reserve officer and two years later was hired as a full-time officer.

Haumann was hired by the SPPD in June 2007 and was honored as the Santa Paula Police Officers Association 2009 Officer of the Year. At the time of his award his determined efforts in keeping drivers under the influence off the streets was noted as one of the factors in his award. Haumann has recently become a K-9 officer partnered with “Hozy,” a crime-fighting team made possible by a donation to the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation by ARP/Hozy’s Café.

Officers from each of Ventura County’s law enforcement agencies were honored with a MADD plaque and label bar denoting their number of DUI arrests. Among the event guest speakers were Director of California Traffic Safety Christopher J. Murphy, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Region 9 Administrator David Manning, PhD, and Oxnard Police Chief John Crombach. The Ventura County Behavioral Health Department also received an award for its drug and alcohol prevention, intervention and treatment programs.

According to its website, “MADD, Los Angeles/Ventura Counties feels strongly that every impaired driver removed from public roadways and highways is a life saved and a family spared from immeasurable pain and suffering.... We are proud to honor the law enforcement officers whose work has saved countless lives and raised awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving. MADD stands behind the law enforcement community and we work tirelessly to provide community support for their life saving work.”