By Linda Collins Special Correspondent
March 8, 2014
ENON — An Enon police officer is among a handful of officers in Southwestern Ohio who are recipients of the “Top Cop” award for 2013 from the Southwestern Ohio Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Officer Benjamin Barrett of Xenia, along with his fellow recipients, was honored for his commitment to the prevention of drunk driving and underage drinking during MADD’s annual awards luncheon Thursday, March 6 in Loveland.
According to Andrea Rehkamp, MADD Victim Services Specialist, the organization looks for officers who have made a positive impact in their respective communities as they work with their departments and other local agencies in reducing drunk driving and underage drinking.
“We salute you as out first line of defense against drunk and drugged driving and appreciate all you do to keep our roadways safe,” Rehkamp stated in a congratulatory letter to Barrett.
Enon Police Chief Lewis Wilcox nominated Barrett for his efforts to combat drunk driving and to educate the public about safety initiatives. In his nomination letter addressed to Rehkamp, Wilcox stated that Barrett is a member of the Clark County OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) Task Force and is an active participant in the group’s monthly saturation patrol. The grant-funded task force is made up of a coalition of law enforcement agencies, working to eliminate drunk driving in the county.
“I have noticed that while Officer Barrett is performing his routine patrol duties, he is constantly scanning for those drivers whose actions indicate that their vehicles are being operated by drivers who are potentially under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,” Wilcox said.
The police chief credited Barrett for the 2013 arrests of six motorists for OVI violations, three individuals for drug violations during OVI stops, and two motorists who had outstanding warrants.
“Officer Barrett constantly makes the public aware of the dangers of drunk driving and aggressively enforces the prohibitions against underage drinkers,” said Wilcox.
Barrett, who has been employed with the Enon Police Department since December 2008, said he was very grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of the prestigious award.
“It is an honor to be receiving this award for just doing my job. I constantly strive to give everything I have during my shift and outside of work and sometimes, I feel as if I fall short on occasions,” Barrett said. “When an organization such as MADD recognizes not only me, but officers all over the nation, it serves as a pat on the back which encourages me to continue my same level of drive and commitment.”
Since its inception in 1980, MADD has grown into one of the nation’s most widely respected non-profit organizations and has continually supported law enforcement in the fight against impaired driving.
“Any mission that helps prevent two officers, from standing at the doorstep of a parent’s home and bearing the awful news of a loved one’s passing, because of the careless actions of an impaired driver, is a mission I’ll always support,” said Barrett.