PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Officers of the Presidio of Monterey Police Department and Soldiers of the Army's 229th Military Intelligence Battalion were among honorees at an awards luncheon for Central California law enforcement officers sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving May 13.

Some 100 officers from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties attended the event, which was held at the National Steinbeck Center in downtown Salinas. The first order of business was to recognize officers for protecting the public from motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Many of the officers in attendance led their departments in making DUI arrests. Others were recognized for their DUI-prevention efforts.

A delegation of Soldiers of Company B of the Presidio-based 229th was invited to the luncheon for recognition of Company B's designated driver program by Brenda Frachiseur, assistant executive director for MADD of California.

At the outset of the awards ceremony, the delegation, comprised of Company Commander Capt. Christopher Green, Sgt. 1st Class David Jorden, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Krabbe and Spc. Curt Sawyer, was asked to stand for a round of applause.

"It's a program that works," Frachiseur said from the podium, explaining that B Company Soldiers volunteer to provide rides for Soldiers who telephone a request to be driven to their quarters whenever they feel impaired by drinking.

Sawyer and Krabbe had volunteered 176 and 124 hours respectively to the program, Frachiseur noted.

Sgt. Wayne Lord was among three POMPD officers who were awarded commemorative plaques. Lord, who is POMPD's civilian liaison officer, was awarded for his work in coordinating on behalf of POMPD with other Monterey County agencies on DUI enforcement. Sgt. Jimmy Webb, POMPD traffic collision investigator, and Cpl. Mark Chitwood, POMPD field training officer, were awarded commemorative plaques for the number of DUI arrests they made last year. Webb was credited with 13 DUI arrests and Chitwood was credited with 8.

The three were accompanied to the awards luncheon by the Presidio's Chief of Emergency Services Jim Laughlin and POMPD Chief Preston Proctor.

"We're proud to have the opportunity to come out and recognize the hard work of the officers (who) struggle every day to keep our community safe," Laughlin said.

MADD was founded in 1980 by Candy Lightner after her daughter was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender. Now active in 50 states, MADD's mission is to put an end to drunk driving and drugged driving and to prevent underage drinking. MADD also provides counseling and support services to victims of impaired drivers.