The packed ballroom was silent as Joshua Jahn, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) volunteer, shared about the night of Nov. 6, 2008, when his wife, Mandy, 3-year-old son, Ryan, and 11-month old daughter, Kaitlyn, were killed by a drunk driver who sped through a stop sign at 68 mph and broadsided their car.
Jahn was speaking at the MADD Southern California 2018 Law Enforcement & Prosecution Recognition Luncheon, held April 12 at Los Coyote Country Club in Buena Park.
The event is held annually to honor law enforcement personnel for making significant numbers of DUI arrests in their respective cities.
In 2017, Orange County public safety officers made 5,403 DUI arrests.
“I want to encourage you, commend you and thank you, not just as a volunteer member of MADD but as a father and a husband,” Jahn said. “It touches my heart and reminds me … that this profession that you carry so full of pride is based in a sense of family. We are all family. We are all united with a cause.”
The highest honor off the afternoon went to Orange Police Officer Colton Ivans and Huntington Beach Police Officer Tai Huynh, who each made 155 DUI arrests, tied for most in the county.
Ivans, a member of the Orange PD DUI enforcement team and a certified drug recognition expert, credits the award to “hard work.”
Said Ivans: “I’m truly honored that I was fortunate to do this.”
Other Orange PD honorees included Tyler Raabe, who made 50 DUI arrests, and Daniel O’Neil Tennant, who made 31.
Officers and deputies credited with the most DUI arrests for their departments were also recognized.
The honorees, with the number of DUI arrests, include:
From the Orange County Sheriff’s Department:
Deputies Denise French, Aliso Viejo – 38; Daniel Merz, Dana Point – 49; Ernesto Escobar, Lake Forest 31; Mark Freeman, Laguna Hills – 22; John Propp, Laguna Niguel — 55; Robert Denny, Mission Viejo – 9; Daniel Castille, Rancho Santa Margarita – 28; Jeremy Johnson, San Clemente – 57; Hunberto Perez, San Juan Capistrano – 14; Vincent Renzi, Stanton – 8; William Simandi, Yorba Linda – 42.
Anaheim PD: Officer Anthony Karg – 57
Garden Grove PD: Master Officer Michael El-Hami – 26
La Habra PD: Officer Steven Highley – 49
Tustin PD: Officer Rob Nelson – 14
Westminster PD: Officer Nick Jezulin – 32
“The work you do is just fantastic,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Look at these awards. It’s incredible … the kind of work you are doing. You are on the front lines. You are the ones who are doing it.”