• 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

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Oct. 30

    by Brett Shepard on Oct 30, 8:36

    More of the same in Southcentral with partly cloudy skies and cool conditions. In the Southeast rain gear will be needed with rain on and off throughout the day. In the Interior skies will be mostly cloudy with flurries possible. On the North Slope skies will be mostly cloudy with a few show showers. Out […]

  • News

    Former Guard commander describes working with ‘the three-headed monster’

    by Emily Carlson on Oct 30, 7:24

    They are the documents that led to local schools banning military recruiters from campus. Now, the four men named in those documents are suing the U.S. Army after their confidential investigations were leaked to the media. Lt. Col. Joseph Lawendowski, Sgt. Shannon Tallant, Master Sgt. John Nieves and Master Sgt. Jarrett Carson say they are […]

  • News

    After blaze in Bethel, alcohol addiction counselors soldier on

    by Kate McPherson on Oct 29, 23:10

    Reaching out for help to overcome alcohol addiction can be hard. Experts in Bethel say finding someone who can help can be even harder, especially in rural Alaska. People travel to Bethel from all over Alaska for treatment at the Phillips Ayagnirvik (or Alcoholism) Treatment Center, whose renovated building went down in flames on Monday […]

  • Lifestyle

    Families in Alaska concerned over proposed Medicaid reforms

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 29, 21:05

    One year ago, Gov. Sean Parnell announced Alaska would not accept billions in federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid system. Instead, he set up a committee to reform it and make it sustainable and easy to use for providers and recipients. In a meeting with the committee today, dozens of Medicaid recipients and service […]

  • News

    Mountain View revitalization continues with another new restaurant

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 29, 19:10

    The smell of fresh sauerkraut and schnitzel wafts in the air at West Berlin. The new restaurant, located at the corner of Mountain View Drive and North Park Street, just opened for business on Monday. Owner Bill Hoopai is no stranger to the restaurant world; he’s operated the three Hula Hands locations since 2000 but is […]

  • Sports

    UAA Volleyball No. 2 in division rankings

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 29, 18:29

    After splitting its matches last week, the UAA volleyball squad entered the season’s initial Division II West rankings in second place. The Seawolves came into the week with a 17-4 overall record (11-2 GNAC). Northwest Nazarene, who, so far, beat UAA twice this season, sits at the top of the standings. Along with the Seawolves […]

  • Lifestyle

    Self-expression through art helps student veterans at UAA

    by Hope Miller on Oct 29, 18:24

    Two counselors at the University of Alaska Anchorage are using an unconventional method to help student veterans who may be having a tough time. It’s called “Operation: Self Expression” and the mission is to use art to get student veterans to open up about their emotions. “It’s theraputic, but we’re not trying to push it […]

  • News

    AFD seeks help solving suspicious Anchorage fires

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 29, 17:23

    Investigators are seeking the public’s help solving two recent structure fires in the area of 80th Avenue and Old Seward Highway. The fires occurred within days of each other, both in unoccupied structures, according to a release from AFD. The first took place in a new building that was under contruction on the 600 block […]