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El Paso County sheriff’s Deputy Edwin Wilson says cracking down on drunken driving was a contest when he started on the midnight shift.

His mentor, Sgt. Cliff Porter, seemed to spot those drivers fastest. Wilson, almost a seven-year veteran, wanted to be first.

Quickly, though, Wilson’s competitive drive was overshadowed by recognition of the pervasive, sometimes fatal problem that such drivers create.

By 2018, he was a leader in DUI arrests, felony arrests and overall enforcement, though he was not in a DUI enforcement unit.

Wilson said he never thought the extra effort would lead to two nominations and the 13th Ken Jordan Award for Excellence in DUI Enforcement.

“It’s definitely unexpected,” said Wilson, who was a sheriff’s cadet before starting full-time. “But (DUI enforcement) is something that I love to do.”

The honor is given to a law officer in the Pikes Peak region who “goes the extra mile” in cracking down on DUIs.

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Wilson does that and more, said his nomination letters, read aloud by State Patrol Cpl. Nicholas Hazlett, chairman of the Pikes Peak Region DUI Task Force.

“Unfortunately, in impaired driving enforcement, it is hard to measure the success of proactive police work,” said Hazlett, who won the award two years ago. “But with the impact Deputy Wilson has made in 2018, it would only be reasonable to think that his work has saved one if not more innocent residents of this county from serious injury or death.

“His work on the midnight shift is recognized by his peers and is infectious.”

Wilson’s crowning achievement was a late-night traffic stop that led to the arrest of a known drug dealer who was high and carrying 1.25 pounds of methamphetamine as well as heroin, fentanyl and a lot of cash.

“It felt good to get something like that off the street,” he said.

Also nominated were Colorado Springs police Officers Michelle Nethercot, John Parisi Jr. and Craig Calkins, and sheriff’s Sgts. Porter and Jason Haag.

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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