Alexa’s Team members honoured

Ten years ago, four-year-old Alexa Middelaer was killed in Delta, BC by an impaired driver.

In response, the RCMP formed Alexa’s Team; a group of officers dedicated to taking impaired drivers off the streets and preventing further tragedies.

At an annual ceremony at Quigley Elementary School in Kelowna Wednesday morning, 61 RCMP officers from southeastern BC joined Alexa’s Team for their role in arresting these dangerous offenders.

An integral part of the Team is Alexa’s Bus; a mobile unit equipped to deal with DUI-related arrests. It’s also painted bright purple – Alexa’s favorite colour.

Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother, takes pride in the change that her late daughter has inspired.

“As a mother, I just can’t fathom that, ten years later, (Alexa’s) name is mentioned and associated with community safety and goal-setting," says Middelaer. “It’s an amazing legacy.”

Since its formation, Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members to 2,400, and has taken over 86,000 impaired drivers off of BC’s roads.

While she is incredibly grateful for the support of the RCMP, Laurel has some mixed feelings about the growth of Alexa’s Team.

“I was hoping that Alexa’s Team would be reduced, because that would show that there’s a change in behaviour. For the amount to be increasing, it shows that enforcement is increased, but the behaviour is not yet changed.”

Since 2010, the impaired driving fatality rate has dropped by fifty percent.

Just last year, 345 impaired drivers were arrested in Kelowna alone.