Officer Derek Burchfield of the Oak Ridge Police Department and Patrolman Adam Warren of the Clinton Police Department have received DUI Officer of the Year awards.
They were among nearly 100 officers and law enforcement agencies recognized by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office. The awards were given out at regional meetings in Jackson, Murfreesboro, Pikeville, Knoxville, and Greeneville.
The Knoxville meeting was on December 7. Seventeen East Tennessee officers received the DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Officer of the Year Award. More than 120 officers attended.
Chief James Shetterly of the Rocky Top Police Department received a Partner of the Year Award, and Officer Stanley Wade and Jacqueline West of the Rocky Top Police Department were named Child Passenger Safety Technicians of the Year.
Oak Ridge Police Chief Jim Akagi said the DUI Officer of the Year Award in East Tennessee is given annually to area officers who have distinguished themselves in the enforcement of impaired driving laws.
So far in 2015, Burchfield has made 41 arrests of impaired drivers on Oak Ridge streets, Akagi said.
“There is no way to know what he may have prevented,” the chief said of Burchfield. “However, I am fully confident his efforts this year saved lives and made our streets considerably safer.”
Officer Ben Higgins was a runner-up in this award category, but each agency was limited to recognition of one officer.
“Officer Higgins should also be commended for his efforts in taking impaired drivers off our streets this year,” Akagi said.
Here’s what Burchfield said about his award: ” I would like to take a moment and recognize the officers that made achieving this award possible. One certain officer, Officer Ben Higgins, deserves as much credit as I for achieving this award. Officer Higgins took the time when I was a young officer to show me the proper way to administer sobriety testing, write DUI reports, court testimony, and all other paperwork procedures. I also want to thank all the great officers I work with on a daily basis at the Oak Ridge Police Department and especially my own team.”
In Clinton, Warren was nominated for the DUI Officer of the Year Award by Lieutenant Larry Miller, who leads the CPD Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Miller said he nominated Warren for his hard work detecting and arresting DUI offenders in Clinton.
“It’s very important to have officers like Adam Warren on the force,” Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough said. “The efforts of Officer Warren, who has been with the department for about four years, has greatly contributed to CPD’s ability to better serve and protect the citizens of Clinton.”
The Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office recognized officers for their efforts in speed enforcement, seat belt enforcement, impaired driving enforcement, and child passenger safety.
Officer of the Year awards were presented to law enforcement officers who showed outstanding work in all areas of traffic safety. Beyond the Traffic Stop Awards were given to officers who, while performing routine traffic stops, went above and beyond the call of duty.
In certain regions, overall departments were recognized for their entire unit’s efforts in a particular category.
“These officers are just a few of many that strive hard to make their communities, counties, and our state a safe place to live,” said East Tennessee LEL (Law Enforcement Liaison) Steve Dillard.
“Our partnerships with law enforcement agencies are extremely valuable,” Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole said. “It is our honor to recognize the men and women who go above and beyond to reduce traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. We know that their efforts are making an impact across the state of Tennessee.”
You can see the full list of winners across the state here.
Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.