Aurora officer recognized for career in stopping drunk drivers

AURORA, Colo. -- Sgt. Rolando Gomez can tell you 100 stories from more than a decade of working the graveyard shift at the Aurora Police Department. Coming in at 8 p.m. and leaving at 6 a.m., his experience runs the gamut for expecting the unexpected.

“They fell asleep while waiting for the green light,” Gomez said, recalling one DUI traffic stop. He says officers have to be prepared for everything, especially in the overnight shift. “They have a gun, and now, it’s a totally different situation.”

Gomez was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his work to put impaired drivers behind bars, making nearly 2,200 DUI arrests in 12 years. He was awarded the Col. Mark V. Trostel Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award for 2019.

He’s also seen the horrors of what happens when people get behind the wheel drunk, recalling scenes over the years with people missing limbs, and some even being decapitated.

“When you think about it, that’s a missile,” Gomez said. “That vehicle is a missile.”

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen suspected drunk drivers plow into patrol cruisers around the metro area, including Aurora. Gomez says he’s had a couple of close calls while doing traffic stops in which traffic will get too close for comfort.

Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, he’s hoping more people will think twice before drinking and getting behind the wheel.

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