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NKY Officers Recognized for Seat Belt, Child Restraint Enforcement

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) honored law enforcement officers from 120 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to increase the use of seat belts and child restraints in motor vehicles.

The Governor’s Occupant Protection Enforcement Awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington. Awards were presented to officers with the most occupant protection citations in each agency and in each division. There are six divisions, broken down by number of officers within the agency, and a division for Kentucky State Police.

“These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for public safety by enforcing our occupant protection laws,” KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula said before presenting the awards. “Officers would rather write a seat belt or car restraint citation than make a death notification.” 

All winners received a plaque, while the top three division winners were presented with the Highway Safety All-Star Award – a commemorative baseball bat from Louisville Slugger.

“Kentucky will continue to raise awareness and increase enforcement of this life-saving measure,” said Siwula. “Writing citations is not a strategy designed to increase arrests; in fact, it may result in decreased citation counts over time, which is our goal.”

With the passage of the primary law, Kentucky’s seat belt usage rate increased from 67 percent in 2006 to 89.9 percent in 2018.


Division I, 1-10 officers

Officer Steven Linville, Falmouth Police

K9 Officer Garrett Haynes, Southgate Police

Patrolman Phillip Blevins, Williamstown Police

Division II, 11-25 officers

Patrol Officer Michael Lyon, Bellevue Police

Officer Brian Locknane, Cold Spring Police

Officer Josh Wilhoit, Dayton Police

Patrol Officer Jamie Ruehl, Edgewood Police

Officer Joseph Paolucci, Fort Thomas Police

Patrolman Aaron Arnsperger, Fort Wright Police

Deputy Thomas Britton III, Grant Co. Sheriff's Office

Patrol Officer Patrick Feldman, Highland Heights Police

Deputy Will Hausermann, Kenton Co. Sheriff's Office

Patrolman Joseph Krull, Villa Hills Police

Patrolman Jacob Zink, Wilder Police

Division III, 26-50 officers

Officer Adam Latham, Campbell Co. Police

Officer Chaz Mathews, Erlanger Police

Officer Daniel Merrell, Kenton Co. Police

Patrol Officer Dan Delaney, Newport Police

Division IV, 51-100 officers

Officer Chris Boone, Florence Police * division winner

Division V, 100+ officers

Deputy Teddy Milton, Boone Co. Sheriff's Office * division second place

Specialist Erik Ruete, Covington Police * division third place

-Staff report