Troopers receive 'Buckledown Awards'
Trooper Sheldon Robinson received the Matthew Evans Memorial Award for his overall performance in traffic safety last year.
"In the highway patrol, it is our primary function to enforce traffic laws," said Colonel Gary Adams, chief of the highway patrol. "Matt, and Oklahoma City Police Officer Jeff Rominger, tragically died in a traffic-related accident in August 2000 while on duty. Matt would have loved the idea of his name being honored in the form of an award to one of Oklahoma's finest for efforts in keeping the public safe."
Adams said he was particularly pleased with the opportunity to present the first-time award to a trooper.
"Through his dedication to duty and high regard for public safety, Trooper Robinson displays a spirit that threads through every trooper in the highway patrol," said Adams. "In this day and age, there are more officers killed in traffic-related crashes than in any other way which makes this award even more meaningful to have Matt's name on it. I was proud to present this award of tribute to Trooper Robinson today."
Several Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were chosen as recipients of the Oklahoma Buckledown Awards Traffic Safety Recognition Program that were presented by Mrs. Cathy Keating at a ceremony in Tulsa at 9 a.m. today.
"They were chosen by the Buckledown Awards Committee for their outstanding or exceptional performance in traffic safety, occupant protection and impaired driving," said Adams.
Troopers Bill McClendon and Steve Meridith received awards for enforcement, prevention. leadership and recognition. In 2000, McClendon led troopers assigned to Troop B headquarters in Tulsa in DUI arrests with a total of 94 and issued almost 450 citations for seatbelt violations, giving numerous safety education presentations. Meridith, assigned to Troop C headquarters in Muskogee, led the troop in DUI arrests with 120.
Troopers Daniel Basset, Danny Choat, Kendall Johnson, Lyle Lubbers, Derek Lowder, Leonard McMillan, Eric Stacy and second lieutenants Greg Giles, Robert Morales and J.C. Burris are recipients of the occupant awards also for enforcement, prevention, leadership and recognition.
Bassett issued 466 seatbelt citations last year while logging the investigation of almost 100 collisions, 32 DUI and 28 drug arrests. Choat was assigned to Troop C headquarters just over a year ago from the Lake Patrol division. During the past year he made more than 700 seatbelt arrests in McIntosh County where there has been a substantial decrease in the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths.
Out of Troop H headquarters in Clinton, a team of three troopers and one supervisor agreed to form a seatbelt compliance team to increase the lower-than-average 56 percent usage rate in that area. Troopers Kendall Johnson, Lyle Lubbers, Derek Lowder and Second Lieutenant Robert Morales held 48 seatbelt compliance check points last year. Several of the checkpoints were held during holidays and the three troopers wrote a total of 1,204 seatbelt and child restraint citations ranking the highest numbers in the Troop H totals. Together they held a total of 65 safety education programs.
McMillan issued 923 citations for seatbelt violations in the 2000 calendar year with an average of 17.45 contacts per day. He also investigated 173 accidents in the Rogers County area. Stacy is assigned to Troop A headquarters and issued 842 seatbelt citations last year with his assignment Pottowatomie County.
In charge of special projects for Troop C headquarters in Muskogee, Giles initiated the increase in seatbelt and occupant protection traffic contacts from 4,800 in 1999 to over 6,700 in 2000. His commitment to seatbelt safety led him to submit numerous news articles and conduct several television interviews with safety messages. Burris assigned to the Highway Safety division, created a plan to visit many of the state's law enforcement agencies, talking to administrators about enforcing seatbelt and child restraint laws. He is a certified child passenger safety technician and assists with child safety seat checks.
Troopers Sheldon Robinson, Cody Hyde and Steve Howell will be presented traffic safety awards for enforcement, prevention, leadership and recognition.
Robinson made a total of 2,396 total contacts for violations of the law including 44 DUI arrests, 96 drug arrests and over 450 seatbelt citations. He also investigated over 100 traffic collisions with his assignment in Tulsa County. Hyde patrols Sequoyah County where he made more than triple the average number of drug arrests with a total of 150. He conducted 80 alcohol-related arrests and reported a total number of 3,000 traffic contacts last year.
Howell averages 24.71 traffic contacts per day in the Oklahoma City metro area including 246 occupant protection citations for 2000. He is one of four troopers assigned to the motorcycle division in the Oklahoma City metro area.