Cottonwood Heights police receive national recognition
The Cottonwood Heights Police Department has the most comprehensive traffic safety program aimed at reducing death and injury on Utah’s roadways, according to the state Commissioner of Public Safety presented at the Zero Fatalities Summit last fall.
Chief Robby Russo is proud of the department. “We received this award as a department because we have the highest per capita rate of arrest or detention for DUI's in the state,” he said. Russo noted that not all DUIs involve alcohol and guessed that approximately 25 percent of arrests now involve impairment from prescription drugs or marijuana.
“We're proud that we've been able to get these drivers off the streets,” Russo said.
Last fall, the department was awarded the Commissioner's Excellence in Traffic Safety Award for 2012 after being nominated by Sgt. Ted Tingey of the Utah Highway Patrol. UHP was the recipient of the same award for 2011.
“This agency has done exceptional work the past couple of years with regard to traffic safety and being involved in the community in an effort to promote safety,” Tingey said.
The department has launched specific programs directed toward reducing the number of impaired drivers, as well as focusing on seatbelts and speed enforcement.
The commissioner's Excellence in Traffic Safety Award recognizes and rewards every year the agency that best works to educate the public as well as enforce the law.
Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore Jr. is very proud of the department's efforts and said that forming the police department has led directly to increased safety for citizens.
“In starting our own police department four years ago, we had an objective to improve traffic safety in order to save lives and property,” Cullimore said. “By singling out CHPD from all other agencies in the state, this award validates the superb efforts we have witnessed internally for the past four years. I couldn’t be more proud of our police department and believe they are very deserving of this award.”
The award is part of the commissioner's Zero Fatalities Program sponsored by the Utah Department of Traffic, the Utah Department of Public Safety and other agencies throughout the state. Their goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities, partly by educating Utahns about the five most dangerous behaviors on the road: distracted driving, drowsy driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving and not using seat belts.