By Marlee Ginter

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The flag outside the Elk Grove Police Department was slowly lowered Thursday night as the department and community mourns officer Ty Lenehan. Lenehan was hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver last week.

“I think as everybody can tell and see, this has been devastating to the department and the community. We lost a hero,” said Elk Grove Police Sgt. Jason Jimenez

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It was just one month ago, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, gave officer Lenehan a coin honoring him for educating drivers at multiple DUI checkpoints.

MADD also recently honored Galt Police Officer Harminder Grewal with a certificate for his number of DUI arrests. He was also hit and killed just weeks later by an alleged drunk driver.

CBS13 went to MADD to find out if more officers are dying at the hands of impaired drivers.

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Ron Replogle is the National Law Enforcement Initiatives Manager with MADD. In just four days, he’s sent condolence letters to two police departments that lost officers to alleged impaired drivers. Elk Grove was one of them. Replogle says we’re already on track to have more than last year.

Last year, roughly 59 officers died in automobile crashes. Nearly a third of those, 17,  were vehicular assaults, which usually involve impaired drivers.

“It’s horrible. It’s horrible for the community there and that agency and obviously it’s very horrible for that officer’s family that they have to go through something and it’s so senseless and it’s preventable,” Replogle told CBS13.

“These are people that are working. They’re serving us and it’s just heartbreaking. But a drunk driver will take 29 lives today,” said MADD volunteer Bonnie Masters, who worked alongside Officer Lenehan at multiple checkpoints.

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It’s 29 lives too many as a community now mourns one who died a hero.