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Grassroots Activities


Tip #1: Offer to participate in roll call briefings and help during enforcement.

Community groups can put a face on the issue and imbue enforcement with a sense of purpose. Several State MADD chapters participated in roll call briefings and found that it helped set the tone for the night and made the officers feel appreciated. However, there is no need to stop there. Roll call briefings at the start of the night may seem empty if they are not followed by participation in the actual enforcement. MADD Massachusetts took this approach. When officers found that the same people had briefed them at the beginning of the evening and continued to support them through the end of the shift, they appreciated MADD’s commitment to enforcement, and many were inspired to redouble their efforts as a result.

Tip #2: Participate in the enforcement in as many ways as possible.

There were numerous ways in which State chapters were involved with enforcement efforts:

  • Distributing literature – Checkpoints are good places to distribute appropriate messages about traffic safety. Sometimes MADD volunteers created their own materials (e.g., MADD Georgia produced 10,000 brochures detailing the costs of a DWI, and MADD Virginia educated people about their new DWI laws). On other occasions, they distributed materials produced by the State highway safety office.
  • Providing food and drink – Whether donated by local establishments or provided by volunteers, bringing food and drink to officers engaged in enhanced enforcement efforts helped build officer morale. MADD Delaware found success with their pizza parties.
  • Providing resources – MADD Georgia printed up “sticky notes” that allowed officers to screen vehicles and make notations to officers downstream in the checkpoint processing to help sort drivers effectively. MADD Florida created DWI guide books for prosecutors that assisted them with important aspects of the DWI law.
  • Helping with set-up and tear-down.
  • Acting as spotters – Some agencies use volunteers during saturation patrols to help spot potential offenders. Such operations require volunteer training on detection cues and use of police radio.

Generally, the more involved your organization can be, the better. It helps if there is a concerted effort to identify the appropriate role for volunteers and to coordinate the efforts well. MADD Delaware was able to establish a working relationship with the State DWI Coordinator and Community Information Officer, who helped plan volunteer involvement in law enforcement activities. These integrated efforts seemed to boost officer morale and performance. Officers often commented, “MADD was right alongside me.”