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Bristol Tennessee Police earn top award for safety initiatives

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BRISTOL Tenn. — The Bristol Tennessee Police Department has earned top honors from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety.

Last month, the BTPD was named the state’s overall winner and also received first place for departments with 71-100 police officers at the state’s 17th annual Law Enforcement Challenge.

The annual competition rates law enforcement agencies across the state for policies and programs designed to encourage the use of seat belts, child passenger safety seats and to combat speeding, impaired driving and distracted driving.

Forty-five agencies participated in this year’s challenge.

The award ceremony was held Aug. 20 in Franklin in conjunction with the THSO’s 33rd annual Lifesavers Conference. Bristol Officer Josh Graham and Lt. Jimmy Dillard accepted the awards.

“We’re grateful for this state-wide recognition that acknowledges our ongoing efforts to make Bristol a safe place to live,” Police Chief Matt Austin said in a news release Wednesday.

Austin said it takes the entire community working together to keep the city’s streets safe.

“We’re proud to lead these year-round efforts that remind motorists to slow down, buckle up, appoint a designated driver and avoid distractions when they get behind the wheel.”    

The Law Enforcement Challenge is a program supported by both the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association. It provides agencies with an opportunity to demonstrate how they promote traffic safety initiatives in the communities they serve, the release states.

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