Saturday, 25 May 2024

Local CHP office honored with Law Enforcement Challenge Award

KELSEYVILLE – The California Highway Patrol's Clear Lake office was among the honorees at a Thursday ceremony where CHP officers and police departments around the state were recognized for excellence in community traffic safety programs.


The awards were presented at the sixth annual California Law Enforcement Challenge conference in Sacramento, which was part of a daylong traffic safety symposium in Sacramento sponsored by the CHP.


CHP offices and police departments throughout the state competed against similar-sized departments for the honors.


“I want to congratulate all of the award winners for their dedication to serving their communities and saving lives on our roadways,” said Business, Transportation and Housing Secretary Dale Bonner.


The Clear Lake CHP office was recognized with the Occupant Protection Award, which it received for notable efforts to promote and enforce occupant protection laws.


Lt. Mark Loveless, the Clear Lake office's new commander, along with Sgt. Mike Thomason and Officer Robert Hearn, accepted the award.


Officer Adam Garcia, whose duties at the Clear Lake office include acting as public information officer and media contact, also received a special award for individual achievement for 2007.


The Northern CHP Division selected Garcia for the award from the Office of Traffic Safety and CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow based on his “exceptional traffic safety efforts” and for going “above and beyond the normal call of duty.”


Seven other CHP officers from around the state, along with eight police officers and deputies from other agencies, also were honored with individual awards.


The California Law Enforcement Challenge awards showcase the best and most innovative programs produced by traffic safety organizations throughout the state.


The programs are designed to increase usage of seat belts/child safety seats and curtail impaired driving and speeding, which are the three primary causes of death on California roadways.


“It is programs like these that have contributed to the lowering of California’s Mileage Death Rate (number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven) to a record low of 1.18 this past year,” noted Dr. David Manning, Regional Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The awards presentation followed a busy Labor Day weekend for local CHP and other local law enforcement agencies.


The CHP's Northern Division, which includes Lake County and stretches across Northern California to the Oregon border, had two fatal crashes and two fatal victims this past Labor Day, including a fatal motorcycle collision here in Lake County at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa, Garcia reported.


That compares with two fatal collisions and five fatalities in the Northern Division during the 2007 Labor Day weekend, according to Garcia.


In addition, there were 72 driving under the influence arrests this past weekend across the region, compared to 68 in 2007, he said.


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