The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) recently honored more than 200 law enforcement officers from 185 agencies across the Commonwealth, including officers from the Corbin and Williamsburg police departments, for their efforts to target impaired drivers.
The 2017 Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony was held on Dec. 13 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. Awards were presented to officers with the most impaired-driving arrests in each agency and Highway Safety All-Star awards were presented to the top three in each division.
“We are honoring those who put their lives on the line each day to save the lives of others,” said KOHS Executive Director Dr. Noelle Hunter. “These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for all Kentuckians, and on behalf of Governor Matt Bevin, we say thank you.”
Williamsburg Police Sgt. Brandon White, who is a nationally certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), was honored for leading his department in DUI arrests.
“Brandon is consistently the DUI award winner for our department. He is the department’s DRE officer and does a great job removing impaired drivers from our roadways,” noted Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
Corbin Police Department Patrolman Kenneth Proffitt led his department in DUI arrests.
Corbin Police Chief Rusty Hedrick noted that Proffitt is one of those officers, who is always seeking to make arrests on impaired drivers.
“He is not just out to make the arrest, but is doing so for the safety of the public,” Hedrick said adding that it is a role the officer has taken on without direction from his superiors.
“It means a lot to have an officer that is willing to make this his focus,” Hedrick said explaining that arresting and booking an individual on a DUI charge is a very time consuming and labor intensive process.
Other local officers, who were honored, included: Barbourville Patrolman Adam Townsley, Pineville Officer Jason Williams, Middlesboro Sgt. Barry Cowan, Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Cloyd, London Patrolman Justin Roby, Kentucky State Police Post 10 Trooper Justin Barton and Post 11 Trooper Steve Walker. Walker and Cowan received Highway Safety All-Star awards in each of their respective divisions.
Perry County District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens, who was injured by a drunken driver in 2015, commended the aggressive enforcement and awareness efforts.
“It is an honor to stand before those who serve and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Judge Stephens. “We will never know the number of lives saved and victims spared by your efforts to stop drunk and drugged drivers. When I see a law enforcement officer, I see a friend. You have my utmost respect and admiration. I thank you for your service, I thank God for you and I pray for your own safety and protection.”
The KOHS, Kentucky State Police and other law enforcement agencies are partnering for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday enforcement campaign Dec. 14, 2017, through Jan. 1, 2018. The campaign is funded through NHTSA, which says high-visibility enforcement reduces impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.