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Governor's Highway Safety Program Announces Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients

Date of News Release: 03/01/07

[Frankfort, Ky.] - The Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) announced the recipients for the 2006-07 Grantee Award for Outstanding Achievement. The recipients for the award are Louisville Metro Police Department, Winchester Police Department, Harlan Police Department, Oldham County Police Department and Pikeville Health Department.

The award recognizes local law enforcement and health care organizations, that receive funding through the GHSP Federal Grant program, who have displayed outstanding achievement in traffic safety initiatives and educational programming. Nominees were submitted by GHSP local law enforcement liaisons, program managers and staff.

Captain Tim Lucas, Commander for GHSP, will present the Awards at the Kentucky Lifesaver Conference on April 24, 2007 at the Galt House in Louisville.

"I applaud the efforts of these champions for highway safety" said Lucas. "One of the leading killers in our society is Automobile collisions and I believe due to the outstanding efforts of these award recipients, lives have been saved" Lucas added.

In 2006, GHSP disseminated $5.3 million dollars in federal money to local grantees for traffic safety initiatives and educational programs.

The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) was recognized for the recent "Operation Safe School Zone" project. The department issued over 500 citations during a three-week period in local school zone areas. The department worked with the County Attorneys' office to receive support in prosecuting the citations. The culmination of efforts sent a strong message to the local community - school zone safety is a priority to the LMPD and will be strictly enforced.

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) was recognized for their "Battle of the Belts" program that included four local schools competing against each other to increase seat belt usage among students. The school with the highest increase of seatbelt usage would win a school-wide pizza party. Captain Kevin Palmer, WPD reached out to community businesses and local government to assist with funding for the competition and the purchase of the pizzas.

Conkwright Middle School won the "Battle of the Belts" competition with a 271% increase in seat belt usage between June and December. Mike Menchen, Assistant Principle for Conkwright Middle School was proud of the students and how they responded to the competition. "If this competition has increased awareness to where it helps save the life of even one of these students, then it was worth it" said Menchen.

The Harlan Police Department (HPD) was recognized for a substantial increase in target safety areas such as seat belt usage, DUI arrests and traffic citations. In return, the HPD has decreased the number of collisions, traffic injuries and fatalities within the community. "These accomplishments prove how effective the Governor's Highway Safety Program has been for the City of Harlan", said HPD Chief Danny Caudill.

The Oldham County Police Department (OCPD) was recognized for both their educational and technological programs. The OCPD created a Citizen's Police Academy that local members of the community attended to receive training about the criminal justice system. Through this partnership, the OCPD has established a strong Citizen's Alumni that have assisted the agency with programs like "Block Watch", "Seat Belt Checks", and "Child I.D." Additionally, the department has launched a website that offers educational information and is interactive where citizens can report criminal activity.

Ms. Suetta Clevinger of the Pike County Health Department (PCHD) is being recognized for her commitment to Child Passenger Safety (CPS) issues. She organizes, plans and sponsors most of the CPS activities in Eastern Kentucky. Ms. Clevinger frequently travels outside of the PCHD area to provide instruction and assistance to neighboring counties.

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