MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Alabama Retail Association, in their continuing partnership to limit driver license fraud, today presented the Examiner of the Year Award to Janice “Becky” Townsend (right) and Driver License Specialist of the Year Award to Regina Hardy (left).
WHY RETAILERS CARE ABOUT ACCURATE DRIVER LICENSES
In 2013, Alabamians filed the 14th highest number of identity theft complaints in the nation (3,610 per 100,000 residents), according to the Federal Trade Commission. Montgomery and the Phenix City/Columbus areas both rank in the top 20 cities for identity theft. Identification fraud is one of the leading forms of fraud, costing financial institutions, businesses, government and consumers $18 billion in 2013, based on Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2014 Identity Fraud Survey Report. Department of Public Safety driver license examiners and specialists work diligently on the frontline every day to protect all of these entities and individuals from this pervasive form of fraud.
Those within the department who excel at recognizing fraudulent activity and go the extra mile to fight deceptive criminals and prevent fraud receive the annual driver license awards.
In determining the award recipients, a point system is used, with points allocated for each arrest. The more serious the offense, the more points awarded. In 2013, Driver License Specialist Regina Hardy of Birmingham earned 565 points to claim the Specialist of the Year award for a record sixth time. Examiner I Janice “Becky” Townsend of Tuscaloosa earned 261 points to become a first-time Examiner of the Year.
Arrests initiated by the Driver License Division cover a wide range of charges, including failure to appear, felony fraud, forgery, robbery, larceny, child neglect, rape, parole violations, firearms violations and even making terrorist threats.
The first runners up for the 2013 awards are Driver License Specialist Sharon Perry from the Mobile District, Mobile Driver License Office, with 519 points and Driver License Examiner I Michelle Smith from the Huntsville District, Scottsboro Driver License Office, with 238 points.
Perry also was recognized today as the Specialist of the Quarter for the 3rd Quarter of 2013 for the 119 points she accrued in that quarter, while Smith also was recognized as the Examiner of the Quarter for the 4th Quarter of 2013 with 104 points. Also recognized were: Driver License Specialist Denise Allison of the Mobile District, Mobile Driver License Office, who achieved 178 points to earn the title of Specialist of the Quarter for the 4th Quarter of 2013; Driver License Examiner I Kasey Brooks of the Dothan District, Dothan Driver License Office with 94 points as Examiner of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter of 2013; and Driver License Examiner I Regina McKelvey of the Opelika District, Opelika Driver License Office with 136 points as Examiner of the Quarter for the 1st Quarter of 2013.
The Driver License Examiner and Specialist recipients and the runners-up were recognized during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon today at the Wynlakes Golf & Country Club in Montgomery. Col. Hugh McCall, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, was the keynote speaker.
“A driver license is a gateway document,” said McCall. “Alabama takes seriously the security of each and every driver license and the integrity of the licensing system.”
Photos from the awards ceremony available upon request
Alabama Retail President Rick Brown said, “Alabama retailers are proud that through this award program and our partnership with the Department of Public Safety, the Driver License Division has seen a 190 percent increase in its arrest record since the inception of the annual awards in 2000.”
The partnership between the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Alabama Retail Association saves thousands of lost retail dollars by preventing individuals from obtaining false identities, or stealing an individual’s identity and using that identification to obtain checking and credit accounts for unlawful purposes. In 2013, the Driver License Division was responsible for 548 felony and 2,248 misdemeanor arrests including four Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests (all felonies).
ABOUT ALABAMA RETAIL
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Our 4,000 independent merchant and national company members sell food, clothing, furniture and other general merchandise at more than 6,000 locations throughout Alabama. Alabama Retail promotes what is best for the retailing industry in Alabama and has been doing so since 1943. From legislation to education, through communication and member services, Alabama Retail members benefit from the value of membership in their association. Retail works!
MEDIA CONTACTS: Nancy King Dennis | 334.551.0643 | 800.239.5423 | email@example.com
Robyn Litchfield, Alabama Department of Public Safety | 334.242.4445 | Robyn.Litchfield@dps.alabama.gov