Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University Police (APSU) Department earned two safety awards – including special recognition for the department’s work in seat belt enforcement – during the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s (THSO) annual Law Enforcement Challenge.
The department won second place overall in the university category and the special seat belt recognition, the Occupant Participation award. THSO announced the awards on Monday.
“It is crucial that our department participates with the THSO Challenge book program so we can provide the University and the surrounding community with the most efficient traffic safety possible,” said Lt. Chris Jones, the general departmental instructor, and accreditation manager for APSU police.
THSO recognized 44 law enforcement agencies.
“The THSO is proud to recognize the hard work and dedication of Tennessee law enforcement agencies this year,” said THSO Director Buddy Lewis. “The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique obstacles we’ve never experienced before in traffic enforcement. Despite this, our partners remained focused, diligent, and enthusiastic about saving lives across Tennessee roadways. We appreciate all of our law enforcement partners and look forward to continuing our shared mission toward zero deaths.”
The Law Enforcement Challenge is an innovative program supported by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association, according to the THSO website.
The program challenges law enforcement agencies to demonstrate how they promote traffic safety initiatives in the communities they serve. The program also allows agencies to learn from one another and establish goals in traffic safety enforcement and education.
The department’s Occupant Protection book, for example, shows its officers’ activity in 2019, including an increase in seat belt citations, officer training, and outreach events with students.
The challenge targets four major traffic safety priorities: occupant protection, impaired driving, distracted driving, and speeding.
The APSU Police Department also won second place in the university category during the previous year’s challenge.