BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A group in Biloxi is honoring South Mississippi DUI officers for their hard work in keeping our streets safe.
Deter is an organization made up of people who've lost loved ones to drunk driving. Their goal is to keep other families from knowing the pain they've already endured.
For volunteer Elaine Thomas, not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her granddaughter, who was killed by a drunk driver.
"I do this because I lost my only granddaughter, Carla, on Christmas Eve 1994, because of a drunk driver. And I feel like that's all I can do for her. She loved school, and she loved her horses and everything, and she was really kind," Thomas said.
Biloxi DUI Officer Jason Cummings said the banquet, held at Port City Cafe in Biloxi, means a lot to him and his fellow officers, who say their job is often thankless.
"We get the same thing over and over. When we arrest people for DUI, they say, 'I felt like I was fine, I only had a few drinks.' But just remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving," Cummings warned.
Gulfport DUI Officer Blake Tucker was honored for the highest number of DUI arrests in 2016.
"In 2016, I had a total of 300 DUI arrests for the year, and that all stems from patrol officers helping me," Tucker said.
And for the members of Deter, the evening is a way for them to continue on the path to healing their hearts.
Officers with the Long Beach, D'Iberville, and Biloxi police departments, along with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department and MHP were also recognized for their efforts.