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Officers Recognized at North Texas MADD Law Enforcement Awards

Three Garland Police officers were honored at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) 2018 Dallas County “Take the Wheel” Law Enforcement Awards and Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday, June 19, at the La Cima Club in Irving.

Chief Mitch Bates, Officer Jerry Chitwood and Officer Thomas Griffeth each received an award.

Chief Mitch Bates – Diamond Hero Leadership Award

Chief Bates has continued his strategy to have all Garland Police Department patrol officers and instructors receive Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Refresher Training. He has also adopted a “no refusal” policy and worked to make the blood warrant and intoxilyzer process more efficient. He has arranged for additional officers to receive training on writing blood warrants and intoxilyzer certification. Chief Bates has rededicated patrol officers to increased DWI enforcement, leading to an increase in total DWI arrests compared to 2016.

Officer Jerry Chitwood – Enforcement Hero Award

Aside from his impressive arrest totals, there are other aspects to Officer Chitwood’s commitment to DWI enforcement. Officer Chitwood has amassed tremendous knowledge of DWI enforcement and prosecution, and has been actively involved in assisting and training his fellow officers in these areas. He has become an expert in obtaining blood search warrants and has been a vital part of many of the department’s intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault investigations. Officer Chitwood also serves as a certified breath test operator. In 2017, he made 76 DWI arrests.

Officer Thomas Griffeth – Commitment Hero Award

Officer Griffeth is an integral part of the Garland Police Department’s DWI Program. He is a NHTSA-recognized Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Instructor, Field Training Officer and Certified Intoxilyzer Operator. Officer Griffeth spends a great deal of his time on patrol training new recruits on proper DWI detection and enforcement techniques. He also serves as an instructor for both current officers and new recruits in the Garland Police Academy. In 2015 Officer Griffeth instructed multiple SFST Certification and Refresher Courses and taught the Basic DWI Investigation Module in the academy.