Cranston Police Department Recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for Community Outreach Efforts

The Rhode Island Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored local officials last week for their efforts in stopping substance impaired driving, supporting victims and preventative work to eliminate underage drinking. The event recognized the excellent work of over 25 professionals and agencies who have shown outstanding dedication to DUI enforcement, prosecution, victim services, legislation, emergency services and education. In its second year, this event took the time to recognize and thank those who are working so hard to keep our streets safe from the horrors of drunk driving.
Among the honorees was the Cranston Police Department’s Office of Community Outreach (OCO). The OCO is responsible for the strategic planning and establishment of intervention strategies and education programs to prevent crime throughout the City of Cranston; as well as the development of partnerships with individuals who live, work or otherwise have an interest in the community. Additionally, the office serves to proactively address issues such as crime and quality of life as well as foster connections within the community and to the police department. In the year 2015, the Office cultivated many community partnerships. Among the most prolific were the partnerships with the Cranston Community Action Program and the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership. In past years, the police department partnered with CCAP to put anti-drug advertisements on marked police cruisers in an attempt to spread the anti-drug message out to the city’s youth. Additionally, our Training Division and SRO Unit conducts numerous child safety sessions throughout the year with organizations such as CCAP at venues such as YMCA Safety Day, URI Family Day, Girl Scout and Boy Scout Jamborees and other fairs and festivals throughout the city to ensure that this valuable service is made available to a greater number of families. The partnership and programs continue to be a vibrant part of our outreach effort in 2015.
In the spring 2015 school semester the Cranston Police Department initiated a program with the Cranston School Department and the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership. This program was designed to bring our police officers into the schools in a way to show how positive interaction with the police can have long standing benefits with the students. As mentors, the officers would be able to establish positive relationships with at-risk students and be a positive role model for – hopefully – years to come. The program began at the Arlington Elementary School and seven members of the department agreed to volunteer for the program. The initial roll out of the program proved to be a great success and the school department continued the program into the fall semester and new school year. Many of our mentors returned and more agreed to serve as the program proved how mentoring positively affects students. Whereby all of the mentees had attendance problems prior to our involvement at the school, five out of the seven students that were mentored in the fall 2015 semester had missed two days of school, or less, with three having perfect attendance.
Colonel Winquist stated, “I was honored to accept the MADD Community Outreach Award on behalf of the men and women of the Cranston Police Department. We recognize the importance of enhancing police-community relations with all segments of the population we proudly serve. I commend the many officers who have volunteered their time to make these programs possible. The investment we have made in the many community programs we have initiated is making Cranston a safer community.”
Mayor Allan Fung stated, “Congratulations to the Cranston Police Department’s Office of Community Outreach on earning this recognition. On behalf of my administration and the residents of Cranston, I thank the men and women who go above and beyond the call of duty to mentor young people and encourage teens to make safe and responsible decisions. Community outreach is essential to the good work of our Police Department and I am proud of the partnerships we have built with community organizations including MADD and CCAP. We will continue working together to keep our kids safe and healthy.”
The 2016 Law Enforcement Recognition Breakfast, sponsored by AAA Northeast, Nationwide Insurance, AIPSO, L&M Hospital and Lexus of Warwick was held on Friday, September 23, at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. “MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving endorses and encourages high-visibility law enforcement and continuing diligence on the part of our police, prosecutors and probation professionals.” said Eric Creamer, MADD Rhode Island Executive Director. “And there are so many individuals involved in furthering our mission to prevent drunk and drugged driving, serve victims and prevent underage drinking. This annual event is our way of saying thanks to those who dedicate their lives to this important work.”