• 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

  • Sports

    Asphalt track coming to Alaska Raceway Park

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 13:51

    Alaska Raceway Park will soon give drivers a chance to go in circles. Construction continues on a new one-third mile asphalt track. It will be the only one of its kind in Alaska since the old Northstar Speedway in Wasilla closed in 2012. “We need an asphalt venue here in the state,” said the track’s […]

  • DayBreak

    Russell Davis of ‘Bar Rescue’ tests the waters in Anchorage

    by Daybreak Staff on May 27, 12:48

    He’s a professional mixologist and bartender who has mixed his way to the top. Russell Davis can be seen on Spike TV’s show “Bar Rescue” helping people create cocktails worth drinking. Wednesday, Davis joined Daybreak to talk about what brings him to the 49th state. “So I’m actually here with my team, Unlimited Liabilities,” Davis […]

  • Sports

    East High School moves closer to hosting football on campus

    by Dave Leval on May 27, 10:52

    East High School has played its football games at Anchorage Football Stadium, but that could change. The Thunderbirds are a step closer to playing on campus, possibly this fall. Earlier this spring, boosters sought to raise $143,000 for a new scoreboard. Ads would be sold on it that would raise money for the school. The scoreboard […]

  • News

    Judge to hear arguments in Pebble case

    by Associated Press on May 27, 10:32

    A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Thursday in a case alleging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency worked with critics of the proposed Pebble Mine with a predetermined goal to block the project. The lawsuit was brought by the Pebble Limited Partnership, which is seeking to advance the project near the headwaters of a […]

  • News

    Alaska National Guard welcomes new commander

    by Shannon Ballard on May 27, 10:00

    The new leader of the Alaska National Guard is starting her job with healing. Scandal rocked the Guard after a scathing report found serious problems in the ranks, including favoritism, lack of trust and allegations of sexual assault. Adjutant Gen. Laurie Hummel says her first priority is regaining that trust. Steps have to be taken […]

  • News

    King of Norway visits Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 8:50

    King Harald V of Norway kicked off his first royal visit to the state in Homer. Tuesday morning, about 100 people welcomed him to Homer near the harbor, including an elderly woman who is 102 years old. His majesty is on a tour of the Pacific Northwest, which includes stops in Washington and Alaska. Tuesday, he spent […]

  • News

    Troopers: Man severely injured in Mat-Su shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 7:56

    Authorities are investigating a Mat-Su Valley shooting that left a man with life-threatening injuries early Wednesday morning. Based on initial reports, a group of men went to the shooter’s home in the Butte “causing a disturbance,” according to an online dispatch from Alaska State Troopers. When the group would not leave, the resident of the […]

  • News

    UPDATE: Driver arrested; 2 children in intensive care after hit-and-run crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 7:29

    The driver responsible for a severe hit-and-run crash Tuesday night was found Wednesday morning, authorities say. Two children involved in the accident are in intensive care. The crash happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of C Street and Dimond Boulevard, according to the Anchorage Police Department. Police say a silver Dodge sedan, traveling […]