Berkley officer honored for 117 impaired driving arrests

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 9, 2019

 Berkley public safety officer Brian Anderson stands alongside his wife, Jenna, as he holds his Lifesavers Outstanding Officer Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Berkley public safety officer Brian Anderson stands alongside his wife, Jenna, as he holds his Lifesavers Outstanding Officer Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Photo provided by Matt Koehn

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BERKLEY — The city of Berkley and the state office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored a local police officer for making the most impaired driving arrests last year.

Honored at the City Council’s July 1 meeting, MADD presented Officer Brian Anderson with the Lifesavers Outstanding Officer Award. In 2018, Anderson made 117 impaired driving arrests, 50 more than the next-closest officer in the state. Of those 117 arrests, 14 were of repeat offenders.

“His dedication to make an impact to this degree — especially in a small community like Berkley — while also fulfilling his responsibilities as a police officer, firefighter and medical first responder, is incredible,” Berkley Public Safety Director Matt Koehn said.

Anderson kept his words brief at the meeting, thanking his co-workers and his family for their support.

Speaking to the Woodward Talk on his 117 arrests, Anderson said he didn’t know he had that many, but he did have a personal goal to get as many as he could because of the dangers of drunken driving.

“The way I look at it is, it’s one of the most preventable, dangerous things that’s out there on the road,” he said.

Included in Anderson’s 117 arrests, 30 of them were for drivers with a blood alcohol content over 0.17%, which is classified as “super drunk”; three arrests were for drivers who had children under the age of 16 in the vehicle; and eight were for drivers who were under the influence of drugs.

Anderson said it’s still his goal to get as many impaired driving arrests as he can to make sure people are safe on the road.

“I look at it as kind of a 3,000-pound, aimless bullet going down the road that can’t be controlled,” he said. “There’s so many out there, and you see so many crashes and just people that are completely innocent getting hurt by something that … could’ve been easily prevented, especially with the availability of Uber and all the other cab companies.”

Koehn said the 117 arrests were the most in the history of the city of Berkley.

“It is estimated that over 10,000 people are killed every year in impaired driving crashes. An additional 290,000 are injured. There’s no doubt that (Anderson’s)  efforts have increased the safety for the city of Berkley and potentially saved some lives,” he said.

Koehn also noted that the city’s Public Safety Department made 236 arrests last year for impaired driving and called the results a “team effort,” because when Anderson might be working on writing arrest reports, other officers are on the street working with the same dedication to stop drunken driving.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” Koehn said.

Mayor Dan Terbrack shared his appreciation for Anderson’s work and the rest of the Public Safety Department staff on behalf of the council, noting the importance of the award and Anderson’s efforts in the field.

“It’s really a testament … to you, but also to our department,” he said. “The amount of folks, the amount of lives, the amount of injuries that you have most likely prevented with your diligence is one of the reasons why Berkley is such a safe city. You, on your own, kept 117 of those off the streets, over 50 more than the next-closest competitor. Look, it’s one thing to win state championships, but you won a state championship for something that saves a lot of lives too, and it’s incredibly important.”

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