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New West police officer honoured for work to combat impaired driving

Const. Chris Faris earned recognition from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police.
Const. Chris Faris receives the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Award from NWPD Chief Const. Dave Jansen.

A New Westminster police officer has been honoured for his efforts to make roads safer.

Const. Chris Faris of the New Westminster Police Department earned the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Award, which was presented to him at the Sept. 12 New West police board meeting.

Faris investigated more than 60 impaired driving files in 2022 and was named to the Alexa All Star Team, an NWPD press release notes.

Alexa’s Team is an annual partnership in honour of the death of Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl who was killed by an impaired driver in May 2008 while walking down the street with her aunt. Founded in 2009, Alexa’s Team is a partnership between ICBC, the BCAA Road Safety Foundation and the Middelaer family to recognize police officers across the province who have taken a minimum of 12 criminally impaired drivers off the streets, either through a criminal charge investigation or immediate roadside prohibition. All-star status is awarded to officers who get at least 25 impaired drivers off the streets.

The NWPD press release notes that Faris has a passion for impaired driving investigations.

“He is a known leader here at NWPD and the go-to person for all things related to impaired driving," said Sgt. Andrew Leaver, the department's media relations officer. "Const. Faris has knack for detecting impaired drivers and issued three immediate roadside prohibitions during one shift."

Leaver noted Faris has extensive qualifications in impaired driving: he is a qualified breath technician, an ASD (approved screening device) calibrator and a standardized field sobriety tester (SFST), and he is involved with training recruits at the JIBC in impaired driving investigations.

"Many other NWPD members strive to keep up with Constable Faris' results; he is a known leader at NWPD with respect to impaired driving Investigations, and his statistics prove his dedication," Leaver said.

Faris said he's grateful for the recognition and for the award.

“Even with all of the education about the detrimental effects of impaired driving, it is still a huge issue in our society and in New Westminster," he said. "I am proud to serve the citizens of New Westminster and will remain dedicated to making our roads safer for everyone. Please plan ahead if you're planning on drinking, and don't drive.”

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