highway-traffic-colorado

Traffic speeds on an icy highway in western Colorado.

CDOT safety

Colorado Department of Transportation emphasizes safety; courtesy CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) holds two events annually to honor individual law enforcement officers and agencies as Traffic Safety Champions. On May 11, CDOT recognized 19 law enforcement officers and eight agencies across the Western Slope region, and on May 18, the department gave awards to those in the Front Range region.

A Traffic Safety Champion is someone who demonstrates outstanding support for occupant protection enforcement or impaired driving enforcement, as demonstrated in any of a number of ways, including drug recognition expert activity, high visibility enforcement tactics, and related activities. CDOT also looks at the number of citations law enforcement officers write, or arrests they make during established enforcement periods all year long.

At the May 11 event, held at the Redlands Mesa Golf Course in Grand Junction, Darrell Lingk, director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, praised the honorees:

The officers recognized today are taking steps to make positive changes in their communities to keep citizens safe and enhance their quality of life. They are truly some of our finest public servants because they go above and beyond to enhance traffic safety and serve without recognition.

The department issued awards to the Mesa County Sheriff Office, and to police departments in Steamboat Springs, Parachute, Avon, and Montrose. The agency also honored Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Troops 4a, 4c, and 5c.

Individual Winners

Awards for Individual Occupant Protection Enforcement were given to:

  • Trooper Jeremy Brailsford, CSP, 5C
  • Trooper Timothy Farber, CSP, 4A
  • Trooper Scott Fenwick, CSP, 5A
  • Trooper Brett Hilling, CSP, 5C
  • Trooper Evan Hilling, CSP, 5C
  • Trooper Robert Howell, CSP 5A
  • Officer Brent Hunstad, Steamboat Springs Police Department
  • Officer Matthew Gadbois, Steamboat Springs Police Department
  • Trooper Jesse Nunn, CSP, 4A
  • Cpl. Shauna Swale, CSP, 4C

Awards for Individual Impaired Driving Enforcement were given to:

  • Trooper Christian Bollen, CSP, 4A
  • Trooper Jeremy Buckingham, CSP, 5C
  • Deputy Ben Carnes, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Deputy Chief Greg Daly, Avon Police Department
  • Officer Alexander Graham, Parachute Police Department
  • Trooper Brett Hilling, CSP, 5C
  • Trooper Evan Hilling, CSP, 5C
  • Trooper Robert Howell, CSP, 5A
  • Deputy Mike Roberts, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cpl. Jason Sparks, CSP, 5C

The Front Range event was held at the Wellshire Event Center in Denver. Those attending  included representatives from CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Colorado State Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies, and the award winners. This blog will announce their names once they are available.

Highway Safety

Colorado’s roads are safer thanks to many campaigns funded by the CDOT Highway Safety Office, which provides funds to law enforcement to deter impaired driving, and for seat belt enforcement, and education and awareness campaigns. For example, “The Heat is On” campaign emphasizes high-visibility and increased DUI enforcement during 12 campaigns throughout the year. In addition, CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety makes federal grants available for other impaired driving programs. Those include DUI courts, a traffic safety resource prosecutor and law enforcement coordinator, and law enforcement training in drug evaluation and standard field sobriety testing.

Image by Steve Estavanik/123RF.