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Police recognized for safety
Pictured is McMinnville policeman Austin Wortman with a special category award for the prevention of impaired driving and a third-place award for encouraging child passenger seat safety.

McMinnville Police Department was recently recognized by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its efforts in preventing impaired driving and encouraging car seat safety.
The department won the Prevention of Impaired Driving Award, competing with municipal, county and state agencies in Tennessee. This award recognized the department’s work in reducing impaired driving and resulting crashes within the community.
McMinnville Police Chief Brian Denton shares credit for the recognition.
“The award was achieved through partnerships with the 31st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Highway Safety Office, and the local news media,” said Denton.
THSO provided grant money to the department that allowed for needed equipment, overtime pay for extra officers on the street, impaired driving presentations to high school students, as well as public education through training and public service announcements.
Also received was third place in the Law Enforcement Challenge, competing with similar-sized agencies across the state. The award recognizes efforts with child passenger seat safety and enforcement, speed enforcement and promoting overall traffic safety in the community.
“We very much value our relationship with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office,” said Denton. “We’ve been partners with them over a number of years. Our partnership has enabled us to participate in programs and have equipment we probably wouldn’t be able to have, which is a big help to us and it helps the community out from a safety standpoint.”
McMinnville policeman Austin Wortman participates in the saturation patrols organized by Lt. Mark Mara.
“We are fortunate to have Lt. Mara and the saturation patrol program, as well as all our administration,” said Wortman. “We are given the opportunity to offer patrols where we just focus on impaired driving, careless driving, and anything we can do to make the roads safer.”
THSO held its 30th annual Lifesavers Conference in Murfreesboro. Every year, the THSO holds these events to celebrate, educate, and empower its law enforcement partners and traffic safety advocates across the state. More than 750 registrants were in attendance.