SFPD Captain Al Casciato to receive "Above and Beyond" Award

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Capt. Al Casciato of the San Francisco Police Dept. will receive the “Above and Beyond” award as the founder of Avoid the 8 from the California Office of Traffic Safety and Mothers Against Drunk Drivers at an advanced DUI training seminar on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Palo Alto.

Avoid the 8 is the city’s multiple award-winning crackdown on impaired drivers, named for the number of police agencies with traffic responsibilities.

Before Casciato of the San Francisco Police Dept. founded Avoid the 8 in 2003, all law enforcement agencies in the City had never banded together in an effort to save lives by bringing about cultural change through education and enforcement.

Now, Avoid the 8 is strongly multi-jurisdictional and runs dozens of cooperative sobriety checkpoints. One is scheduled for this Sunday, Feb. 5., at Lombard and Divisadero Streets. It begins at 8:30 p.m.

The captain will retire this June and calls founding Avoid the 8 one of the most fulfilling efforts of his 42-year police career. “He believes strongly in public education because you’ll never arrest yourselves out of the problem,” said SFPD Lt. Jim Calonico. “He frequently speaks on Avoid the 8 for radio, television and newspapers.”

Thirty-eight police officers working in San Francisco will be honored at the event for their DUI-arresting expertise.

SFPD Officers Steve Landi, Derrick Liang and Alvaro Shor will be recognized along with UCSF Officers Joseph Nardil and Kennan Sievers and Master Patrol Officer April Ramos of the United States Park Police.

CHP officers honored will be Richard Adams, Joseph Airoso III, Ryan Allen, Brieanne Boroja, Jennifer Codina, Ronie Esquivel, Sean Farley, Matt Fuhrman, Daniel Gunter, Nathan Johnson, Joshua Jones, Kyle Kepler, Lorenzo Keys, Mark Leavitt, John Link and Oleg Lyashenko.

Others will be Nick Malato, Dominic Marchewka, Anthony Mariscal, Jeremy Maya, Timothy McCollister, Joshua Nelson, William Ogilvie, Garrett Pumphrey, Marco Ramirez, Aaron Sapien, Timothy Scott, Grant Tucker, Thomas Vang, Brian Wallace and Vu Williams.

Avoid the 8 will hit the streets again for St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo, two occasions many people celebrate with alcohol. The Office of Traffic Safety funds the crackdown through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.