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Local officers recognized for safety by KOHS

Three local police officers have been recognized by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) for their efforts to target impaired drivers.

Officer Tyler Hensley of the Harlan Police Department, Patrolman Mitchell Alford of the Loyall Police Department, Sgt. Barry Cowan of the Middlesboro Police Department, Officer Brandon Hollingsworth of the Pineville City Police Department and Trooper Sammy Faris with Kentucky State Police Post 10 were honored alongside more than 200 law enforcement officers from 175 agencies across the Commonwealth.

Chief Mike Thomas of the Harlan Police Department says they are long-time partners with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We are doing our part to make our community and highways safer,” Thomas said, “We enforce speeders, occupant protections, and impaired drivers. I am very proud of my officer’s effort and their dedication and trying to accomplish the goals of highway safety.”

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 at the 2018 Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony in Lexington.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award once again,” said Cowan. “For many years I have been committed to protecting our community from impaired drivers, as I will continue to work toward protecting our community in the future.”

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, last year in Kentucky, there were 5,350 crashes related to impaired driving, resulting in 2,781 injuries and 154 fatalities.

“Today is more than just receiving an award,” said KOHS Acting Director Jason Siwula. “It is about saving lives and that is what each of you do every time you arrest an impaired driver.

“One fatality is one too many,” Siwula added. “We will continue to support law enforcement efforts to remove impaired drivers from our roads, including providing federal funds for additional enforcement during this holiday season.”

The KOHS, Kentucky State Police and local law enforcement agencies are partnering for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday enforcement campaign. Officers will be out through Jan. 1 watching for any moving hazardous violation, with an emphasis on impaired driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds the campaign and states high-visibility enforcement reduces impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.