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The Washington State Patrol has been named by its peers as the top agency in North America when it comes to getting drunk drivers off the road, WSP announced Friday.
The award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police recognizes an agency’s “year-round efforts to detect and apprehend impaired drivers and to address impaired driving through policies, officer training, and public information and education.”
“We consider every DUI arrest a potential life saved,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste in a press release. “We never know which drunks will kill, but we know with certainty that some of them will.”
The Washington State Patrol’s top trooper is Longview native Scott Betts.
Gov. Chris Gregoire and State Patrol Chief John Batiste honored Betts with the 2009 Chief Will Bachofner Award, otherwise known as state trooper of the year.
The May 4 ceremony was held at the State Patrol Academy in Shelton.
Betts, 38, grew up in Longview and graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1990. He’s now in Anacortes, but his mother, Pat Spencer, father, Ray Betts, and other family members still live in Longview.
“I’m extremely proud of him and the work that he does in keeping us all safe,” his mother said Monday. “I was proud of him before, but it’s always nice as a parent to see your children recognized for the adults that they’ve become.”
The Washington State Patrol and the Mississippi Highway Patrol have been named the best dressed law enforcement agencies in the U.S. by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD). This marks the first year the association has named co-winners of the annual Best Dressed Law Enforcement Agency award.
Last year, the State Patrol was the sole winner of the award.
“I am very proud of the men and women who wear the uniform of the Washington State Patrol,” said State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste in a news release. “I have seen the uniform of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and am honored to be in their company.”
The award is based on photographs, history and explanation of each of the different
working uniforms worn by law enforcement agencies.
State Patrol uniforms include traditional blues with campaign hat and bowtie; light blue shirt and navy blue trousers of the communications officer; gray shirt and black trousers of the Commercial Vehicle Division; and bicycle uniform worn by Capitol Campus Security.
To learn more about the State Patrol’s uniforms, click here.