Thursday, June 12, 2008

CCSO Earns Top Honors In National Competition

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has won first place in a prestigious national competition that recognizes traffic safety programs.

The annual Law Enforcement Challenge is sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Safety Administration. In all, 560 law enforcement agencies across the nation took part in the challenge in 2007. CCSO competed in the division for agencies with 401 to 1,000 sworn officers.

The Law Enforcement Challenge evaluates each agency’s efforts to enforce traffic laws and educate the public about occupant protection, impaired driving and speeding. Entrants must submit a binder documenting their agency’s efforts and effectiveness in each area. Judges examine each entry with an eye toward spotting agencies that combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries.

Lt. Harold Minch, who heads up CCSO’s Safety and Traffic Enforcement Bureau, credited the agency’s all-inclusive approach to traffic safety with making the win possible.

“If one thing sets us out above the rest it’s that we utilize every asset of this agency for traffic safety,” he said. “The Safety and Traffic Enforcement Bureau puts forth a great deal of the ideas and schedules, the entire agency does the work.”

CCSO also won first place in the competition in 2003 and 2005. Agencies are not eligible to win first place two years in a row.

Minch said the agency will continue its aggressive approach to traffic safety.

“We will not allow any amount of kudos take away from the fact that we still have some very serious work ahead,” Minch said. “We will continue to develop new strategies and hone the ones we already use to continuously work to make Collier County a safe place to live, work and drive.”