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MPD apprehends awards
MPD recognition.jpg
McMinnville Police Department stands united in its effort to make a significant difference in the community and for the citizens it serves. Pictured, from left, are Lt. Mark Mara, officer Toby Lewis and officer Fred Lee. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office has recognized the achievements of law enforcement agencies statewide and McMinnville Police Department has earned three safety awards. 

“The big one we received was the Law Enforcement Challenge Award,” said McMinnville Police Lt. Mark Mara. “We won first place in our category of 26 to 45 officers. We competed against other agencies within that same size group.”

Agencies were judged on their traffic safety efforts conducted during the previous calendar year, which was 2020. 

“Collectively, we had to show that we’re doing things to make our roadways safer using education, engineering and enforcement,” said Mara. “I don’t think most people understand how much we actually do to reduce crashes in the city of McMinnville, but we’ve doubled up signs on the roadways and worked with engineers to determine the timing of the traffic lights in an effort to reduce crashes. We also offer public relations to educate people about the laws. Enforcement is just part of what we do to make McMinnville a safer place for everybody.”

An awards ceremony was held in Franklin.

McMinnville Police Department also received the 2020 Impaired Driving Awareness Award, a special recognition for all the department did to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired with saturation patrols, checkpoints, and pamphlet distributions, and its enforcement efforts to remove impaired drivers from the streets.

Last, but not least, said Mara, was the 2020 Safety Fitting Station of the Year.

“I’m really proud of that award,” said Mara. “That award was a coordinated effort between three departments – McMinnville Police Department, McMinn-ville Fire Department, and Warren County Sheriff’s Department. All three agencies collectively worked toward one goal and that was to get more people using child car seats correctly. That’s our second time to receive that award. We received it for our efforts in 2018.”

THSO offers the awards as a way to challenge 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. 

McMinnville Police Chief Nichole Mosley had high praise for the department’s efforts. 

“Our men and women work hard because they want to provide the city of McMinnville with the highest level of service possible,” said Mosley. “These awards shine a spotlight on that effort. I’m proud of this department. The COVID-19 pandemic hit us in 2020 and that presented us with unique obstacles to overcome. Despite those, these men and women continued to work diligently toward their shared goal – to work hard for the citizens of McMinnville.”

Mosley offered a special recognition for Mara. 

“Lt. Mara worked diligently to pull all the information together and submitted it to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its consideration in this program. He, officer Toby Lewis, and officer Fred Lee worked together on the child car seat safety program. Their accomplishments and dedication bring pride to this department.”