By Brooklyn Draisey
An Iowa City Police officer has been recognized for his exemplary work in getting impaired drivers off the streets.
Iowa City Police Officer Brad Reinhart received the 2018 Kip Hayward Award from the Governor’s Safety Traffic Bureau on April 26. The award is for outstanding work ethic and focus on combating impaired driving.
“It’s an honor,” Reinhard said. “I think that it’s something that gives more credit to the ability of the officers in Johnson County to locate and apprehend drug impaired drivers on the roadside … I’m basically the clean-up guy, so what they do is more important than to anything that I’m doing.”
The award is named for Polk County Deputy Sheriff Kip Hayward. The Governor’s Safety Traffic Bureau created it to memorialize the officer, who was killed by a drunk driver while responding to a deadly crash involving another intoxicated driver. He was also one of the first to hold the title of Drug Recognition Expert.
Reinhard said he wanted to be a police officer since he was a child growing up with family friends on the force and participating in ride-alongs. He’s been with the ICPD for seven years and became a Drug Certified Expert in 2012.
Since his certification, Reinhard has conducted over 357 evaluations to help get impaired drivers off the streets.
When evaluating impaired drivers, a Drug Certified Expert can be called in by an officer who has apprehended a driver who is impaired but does not seem to be intoxicated. The person is brought in and taken through a 12-step evaluation to determine if they’re impaired and what kind of drug or drugs are impairing them. They usually see combinations of drugs and alcohol, called poly-use.
Part of the reason his evaluation number is so high is the fewer number of Drug Certified Experts when he first started, he said. He noted Johnson County has tried to send at least one person to the month-long training every year since he became certified.
“When I was first certified there were only a handful of us doing evaluations so I was doing a lot of more of them…” he said. “They’ve added more now so the workload has spread out.”
Reinhard has also had really high rates of Operating While Intoxicated arrests. In 2017 alone, he arrested 176 impaired drivers.
He said he didn’t have any particular interest in impaired driving when he was first hired, but it became his focus after going to standardized field sobriety testing instructor school. It felt like a logical progression of his career, he said.
He usually takes on extra hours on top of his regular night shifts, which gives him the opportunity to make more arrests. The overtime lets him target impaired drivers. He said he enjoys the work and the safety he’s bringing to Iowa City.
“I think I go out at night trying to find an impaired driver,” he said. “If there’s one out there, I’d like to find them before they’re involved in a crash or something like that.”