WALDORF, Md. - Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta died last week after he was struck by a suspected drunk driver. Area police came together Wednesday to conduct a DUI checkpoint in Leotta's memory.
“This is in dedication to Officer Noah Leotta who was killed, struck on December 3rd by an impaired driver and he died December 10th,” said Charles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jon Burroughs.
It was Burroughs’ idea to honor Officer Leotta for this sobriety checkpoint and police from seven different agencies joined him Wednesday night.
“What really drove it home was more of the Montgomery County chief's words and his feelings and his heartbreak over the fact he did not believe that they could get justice for Officer Leotta,” said Burroughs. “That really struck a chord with me. So when he said those words, I thought we can’t contribute to whether or not Officer Leotta gets justice, but we can stop others from suffering his fate.”
The sobriety checkpoint lined a roadway in Waldorf. They conceived the idea late last week.
“We just think anything that can be done to get impaired drivers off the roadway is important,” said Montgomery County Police Sgt. S.A. Flynn.
“He would have been amazed and very much so proud,” said Montgomery County Police Officer Ruphin Nguelie. “It's what he would have wanted. He dedicated his life to being the police and getting out there and getting impaired drivers off the road. He was part of our task force before he was taken away from us.”
“As an officer who has been on for only two years, this is something that you never want to see, something that you never want to be a part of, and I hope that I finish the rest of my career, 23 years left, and have to never go through this again,” said Montgomery County Police Officer Gregory Walker.
So far this year in Charles County, Sheriff Troy Berry said there have been at least 300 impaired driving incidents and seven related alcohol-impaired deaths.
On Wednesday night, there were no DUI arrests at the checkpoint in Waldorf.
Even so, the main goal was to raise awareness about impaired driving’s aftermath and dedicate that moment to Officer Leotta.