Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers have been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for their efforts to arrest and prosecute impaired drivers.
Officers Jonathan Cerdan and Matthew Pressley were honored Wednesday at a press conference in south Charlotte.
Its really important to have these guys, said Sgt. David Sloan, who heads the major crash investigation unit. Without them, youd see a lot more crashes.
Cerdan took on a training role in the last year after police agencies in Mecklenburg County had difficulty prosecuting DWI cases, according to a nomination letter. Officers struggled to translate what they had observed on the road into convincing testimony in court.
Cerdan created training classes for new officers and officers transferring to CMPD.
I wanted to start with recruits, tell them what to expect, what to look for in their cases and how to prepare fully for their court cases when they got to court, Cerdan said.
He also invited prosecutors who handle DWI cases to ride along with officers and participate in some of their training sessions.
At the conclusion of some court cases, hed introduce himself to the judge and invite him or her to training classes and DWI checkpoints.
They can get a better sense of whats going on when the officer is testifying, Cerdan said.
Pressley was recognized for making 158 DWI arrests last year. The total was the fifth highest of all officers in the state. He has been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving in six of the last seven years.
Working with (the major crash unit), we see a significant number of alcohol-related crashes, said Pressley, who is assigned to the Hickory Grove Division in east Charlotte.
Being able to do DWI enforcement has a direct impact on trying to eliminate and reduce these crashes, he said.
Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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