Three thousand citizens from across the Metroplex traveled to Main Street Garden Park in Dallas to take part in the 11th annual Walk Like Madd 5K on April 27th. Organized by Mother Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the walk raised $6,500 – $2,500 over their goal – in remembrance of Irving Police Department (IPD) Officer Glenn Homs, killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver.
On July 3, 1993 Officer Homs was on his way home when he stopped to help a woman whose vehicle collided with a cow near Highway 114 and Belt Line Rd. As Homs set up a flare line around the woman’s vehicle, a drunk driver crashed through the flare line, slamming into Homs.
Since then, Homs’ story has been a clarion call to citizens in North Texas who have turned out in overwhelming support over the past decade to celebrate his life and do their part to make sure a tragedy like his death does not happens again. IPD took special pains to remember their fallen brother and not only had the largest police representation at this year’s Walk Like MADD, winning the award for most supportive law enforcement team, but the department is currently running in 3rd place on the MADD website for funds raised for this area.
“Texas leads the nation in alcohol related fatal accidents. Our fatality rate in Texas fluctuates between 47 percent and 50 percent of accidents that involve alcohol, with a national average for the United States somewhere between 31 percent and 38 percent. There’s a spot where we’re No. 1 that we don’t want to be No. 1,” said IPD DWI Investigator, Officer Steve Burres.
IPD considers drunk driving a high priority and employs a specialized unit tasked with stopping drunk drivers on the road before they become a serious threat.
“We have a five man full time DWI unit, all of our officers are certified as drug recognition experts, and two of them are crash reconstruction investigators,” Burres said. “We work at night from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. during the peak, where you’ll have your early happy hours when people get off work and when the bars close at 2 o’clock. [We are] doing proactive enforcement trying to find drunk drivers before they turn into an alcohol related crash.”
Some information provided by the City of Irving.