LAWRENCE, Kan. — A Lawrence police officer wins a prestigious award that has only been awarded one other time in Kansas.

The Kansas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored Lawrence Patrol Officer Shawn Gross with its Golden Achievement Award.

Officer Gross said he witnessed the horrors of drunk driving more than a decade ago. Goss said that experience changed the course of his professional life.

“Witnessing the young woman’s death on Oct. 14, 2010, strengthened my resolve and my mission to go remove impaired drivers from the roadway. Instead of just being part of my job, it became my mission to do everything in my ability to create safe roadways to make sure that never happened again,” Goss said.

His efforts were noticed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The organization said Gross has been involved in preventing impaired driving and trains other officers to follow in his footsteps. The group credits Goss with also helping raise nearly $10,000 for MADD.

“Almost every officer you talk to that does impaired driving enforcement has that type of personal story some of them honor that in their own way, Shawn honors it by working with MADD working with other victims, Shawn wants to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” Lori Marshall, MADD Kansas program manager, said.

Goss runs a 5K wearing a 20-pound weighted vest during an annual MADD fundraiser. He was the extra weight represents the weight of the loss victim’s families carry with them on a daily basis.

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