• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 24s

Citizen DUI task force helps police make dozens of arrests

By Joe Vigil 9:34 PM July 28, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

The more you drink and drive, the more likely it is that you’re going to run into the citizen DUI task force on Anchorage streets.

The problem for drunk drivers is they will never see volunteers coming because they use their own cars to help police track down offenders. Task force members call 911 if they spot a drunk driver. Police will send an officer, if a unit is available, to possibly make a DUI arrest.

KTVA 11 reported on the task force back in December. At that point, the citizen volunteer group was responsible for helping police make 19 DUI arrests. From August 2013 through this June, APD says the group has helped the department catch 103 drunk drivers.

“Some of those 103 might have crashed into somebody and killed or injured them before we got onto them,” said Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew.

APD says volunteers have logged 3,242 hours of their own time on patrol. The department has also honored at least six men and women for individually donating more than 200 hours to the effort.

Task force volunteer Bruce Burns says he’s motivated by what happened to his brother after he returned home from the Vietnam War.

“My little brother got killed by a drunk driver,” Burns said. He said he doesn’t want it to happen to other people.

A number of volunteers have also received what’s called an ACE award. It goes to people who have helped police catch more than 10 drunk drivers.

Volunteer Nick Hornshuh works 40 hours a week Monday through Friday. On Fridays, just a few hours after getting off work, he’s back at work patrolling the streets.

“No weekend. This is my life for the weekends, is doing this,” Hornshuh said.

KTVA 11 caught up with Howdi Rambur around 3:40 a.m. on a recent weekend. We asked why he makes the effort.

“The reason I’m out here is because it’s got to stop,” Rambur said.

The citizen DUI task force was set up last summer after a wave of suspected drunk driving deaths. Included in those deaths are 15-year-olds Jordyn Durr and Brooke McPheters, who were struck by a suspected drunk driver while on a walking path.

KTVA 11 just learned that their parents may join the citizen DUI task force. They’ve all applied to be part of the Anchorage Police Citizen Academy and may eventually hit the streets themselves looking for drunk drivers.

“Let’s do the next step and lets help our police officers out however we can. If it means riding in our car at three in the morning, or two in the morning until six in the morning, then that’s what we do,” said Brooke McPheter’s father Gary.

Police encourage others to join the Anchorage Police Citizen Academy. The application deadline is Aug. 15. You can get more information about the academy at apcaaa.org.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Man charged with murder in South Anchorage gas station shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 26, 8:37

    The Anchorage Police Department has charged a man in the shooting death of another man in the parking lot of a South Anchorage Holiday gas station Wednesday night. According to a statement from APD Thursday morning, 23-year-old Andrew Robertson-Goughnour shot and killed 19-year-old Brandon Merritt near the gas pumps at the gas station on Abbott […]

  • News

    After large outage, MEA restores power to all customers

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 25, 22:35

    Last updated at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 26 Just before 9 a.m. Thursday, the Matanuska Electric Association shared on Twitter that all customers affected by a large outage had their power restored. All power has been restored. Damage to a major transmission line sure caused problems! Thank you for your patience over the past […]

  • Crime

    Shooting at South Anchorage gas station leaves 1 dead

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 25, 21:25

    Last updated at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 26 Anchorage police have charged 23-year-old Andrew Robertson-Goughnour for the shooting death of 19-year-old Brandon Merritt near the gas pumps at the Holiday on Abbott Road Wednesday evening. He’s been charged with murder in the first and second degree. [View complete update] Original Story The Anchorage Police […]

  • News

    A look inside a classified Cold War-era antenna site, now shut down

    by Bonney Bowman on May 25, 19:49

    After 50 years monitoring radio waves, the AN/FLR 9 antenna array on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was shut down Wednesday. The site, also known as the “elephant cage,” is a relic from the Cold War. At 40 acres in size and standing 120 feet tall, the antenna array stands mostly unchanged from when it was built […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bean’s Café chef hoping to win Food Network challenge

    by Shannon Ballard on May 25, 19:08

    Shawn Dinkins is a chef at Bean’s Café who helps serve around 800 hot meals daily and is almost always hustling to make sure lunch is ready on time for those who might not otherwise have it. “I know I could have worked at any other restaurant and I love restaurants, but this is where my […]

  • News

    Anchorage gets first canine wildlife inspector

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 25, 18:53

    He may seem like an unlikely hero, but U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers are hoping Dock, an 18-month-old Labrador retriever who started life as a shelter dog, can help them solve a serious problem. Anchorage is one of the busiest cargo hubs in the world, but not everything that comes through the state […]

  • News

    Kittens in need of foster families

    by Bonney Bowman on May 25, 18:29

    Anchorage Animal Care and Control (AACC) says it is seeing an influx of kittens and needs more people to care for them by fostering them. The goal of fostering is to socialize the kittens and get them ready for adoption. Jay Jackson has been a kitten foster mom for four years, and said it’s rewarding […]

  • Crime

    DOC commissioner calls officer’s arrest a victory for new unit

    by Eric Ruble on May 25, 16:55

    The Department of Corrections said Wednesday the arrest of one of their own was frustrating for commissioner Dean Williams, but a small victory for a new DOC internal affairs unit. At a press conference, Williams credited the successful investigation and arrest of Goose Creek Corrections officer Adam Spindler, 32, to the commissioner’s new Professional Conduct […]