The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 11, 2013

Officer cited for 14th year by highway safety program

BECKLEY — Beckley Police Department Sgt. Frankie Shelton was named the 2012 Officer of the Year for the 14th consecutive year Thursday at the Southern Regional Highway Safety Awards Banquet at the Moose Lodge in Beckley.

This award acknowledges the best all around enforcement performance and most consistent efforts in most every category of highway safety; Shelton has certainly earned his acknowledgment.

In the past year on highway safety patrols alone, Shelton recorded 163 DUI arrests, 92 driving suspended/revoked charges, over 370 seatbelt violation charges and averaged a DUI arrest for every 3.14 hours he patrolled.

A humble Shelton said, “I feel all the officers are equal. Any of them could have won this award.”

Beckley Police Chief Tim Deems noted that Shelton has consistently been at the top with highway safety and his consistency says something about the importance he places on it.

“Officers don’t do this for the awards, but it’s nice to recognize their efforts. We’re just doing our jobs, but these awards serve as a pat on the back.”

Bob Tipton, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, said all the officers recognized at the ceremony were doing an excellent job by enforcing laws and making roadways safer.

He said $2 million was provided by the HSP last year to pay for overtime, which equated to 70,000 hours of additional police work and patrols. Those long, hard hours helped lead to 3,582 DUI arrests across West Virginia.

“We’re here to recognize the people who do a good job and let you know we support you 100 percent in your efforts.”

Other awards are as follows:

Highway Safety Advocate Awards were presented to Lola Rizer (Southern Communications), Mary Jones (Mountain Heart Community Services), Margie Sadler (WV MADD), Lynn O’Brien (Crime Stoppers), and George Bragg (GEM Photo).

Target Red Awards for red light enforcement were presented to Jason Redden (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), John McClintic (Lewisburg Police Department), Lonnie Christian (Beckley Police Department), Brandon Dodrill (Summersville Police Department), and Philip Conley (Beckley Police Department).

Occupant Protection Awards were presented to Shelton (Beckley Police Department), Matthew Deitz (Nicholas County Sheriff’s Department), Christopher Cole (Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department), Redden (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Dave Farley (Beckley Police Department), and Randy Burgess (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department).

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to Conley (Beckley Police Department), Damon Brock (Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department), Shelton (Beckley Police Department), Redden (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Jerry Hopkins (White Sulphur Springs Police Department), Randy White (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Jamie Wilhite (Beckley Police Department), Chris Teubert (Lewisburg Police Department), Burgess (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Christopher Bowling (Oak Hill Police Department), and Steven Whitt (Beckley Police Department).

Outstanding Service Awards were presented to the Lewisburg Police Department, Beckley Police Department, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department, White Sulphur Springs Police Department, Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department, and Oak Hill Police Department.

MADD Top Dawg Awards were presented to Shelton (Beckley Police Department), Redden (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Burgess (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Wilhite (Beckley Police Department), Bowling (Oak Hill Police Department), White (Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department), Whitt (Beckley Police Department), and Hopkins (White Sulphur Springs Police Department).

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