MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Alabama Retail Association in their continuing partnership to limit driver license fraud today presented the Examiner of the Year Award to Patricia South and Driver License Specialist of the Year Award to Denise Allison.
|Driver License Specialist
WHY RETAILERS CARE ABOUT ACCURATE DRIVER LICENSES
In 2013, the latest year for which statistics are available, 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. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency 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.
“A driver license is a gateway document,” said Col. John E. Richardson, director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. “Alabama takes seriously the security of each and every driver license and the integrity of the licensing system.”
Alabama Retail President Rick Brown said, “Alabama retailers are proud that through this award program and our partnership with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Driver License Unit has seen a 205 percent increase in its arrest record since the inception of the annual awards in 2000.”
The partnership between the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency 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 2014, the Driver License Unit was responsible for 570 felony arrests, 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests (all felonies) and 2,361 misdemeanor arrests. The Driver License Unit also recovered 26 missing persons in 2014, 23 juveniles and three adults.
Those within the Driver License Unit 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 2014, Driver License Specialist Denise Allison of Mobile earned 550 points to claim the Specialist of the Year award to become a first-time Specialist of the Year. Examiner I Patricia South of Cullman earned 145 points to become a first-time Examiner of the Year based on the point system.
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.
Allison was also recognized as Specialist of the Quarter for the 4th Quarter of 2014 with 85 points and the Specialist of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter of 2014 with 266 points. Also recognized were:
- Driver License Examiner I Carey Tatum of the Montgomery District, Montgomery Driver License Office, who achieved 65 points to earn the title of Examiner of the Quarter for the 4th Quarter of 2014;
- Driver License Specialist Cynthia Ash of the Birmingham District, Birmingham Driver License Office with 165 points as Specialist of the Quarter for the 3rd Quarter of 2014, and 176 points as Specialist of the Quarter for the 1st Quarter of 2014;
- Driver License Examiner I Krystinia Chapman of the Birmingham District, Birmingham Driver License Office with 67 points as Examiner of the Quarter for the 3rd Quarter of 2014;
- Driver License Examiner I Sara Walton of the Mobile District, Mobile Driver License Office with 100 points as Examiner of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter of 2014;
- and Driver License Examiner I Elizabeth Ferguson of the Birmingham District, Birmingham Driver License Office with 69 points as Examiner of the Quarter for the 1st Quarter of 2014.
The Driver License Examiner and Specialist recipients were recognized during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon today at the Wynlakes Golf & Country Club in Montgomery. Col. Richardson was the keynote speaker.
Front row from left: Cynthia Ash, Elizabeth Ferguson, Carey Tatum and Denise Allison. (Not pictured Sara Walton and Krystinia Chapman) Back row: Maj. Deena Pregno, Information Bureau Director Kevin Wright and Col. John E. Richardson.
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!
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