Saturday marked the one year anniversary of a drunk-driving incident that claimed the lives of two 15-year-old girls, Jordyn Durr and Brooke McPheters.
In the wake of that tragedy, the Anchorage Police Department decided it needed more public involvement, so the department developed a program called Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately, or REDDI.
REDDI isn’t a new idea, it’s a concept that existed before last year’s tragedy. But since the deaths of Durr and McPheters, and under the eye of APD, the program has taken off.
So far this year, Anchorage police say volunteers have logged more than 3,000 hours, time that has resulted in 56 stops leading to an arrest.
It’s a program so successful that Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew says volunteers are finding more potential drunk drivers than officers are able to respond to. But while this program has been a success in a variety of ways, Mew says they can’t arrest their way out of this problem.
“I’m not going to tell you that this program is successful because we’re locking people up in jail at a higher rate, or something like that,” Mew said. “But is has been successful because it has provided a deterrence.”
So far this year, three people have been killed as a result of operating a vehicle while under the influence.