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VCU Police wins Governor’s Transportation Safety Award for third time

June 29, 2016 | Virginia News

News Image Gov. Terry McAuliffe honored the VCU Police Department this week for its continued progress in promoting safe and sober driving practices in and around Virginia Commonwealth University.

A dozen individuals and agencies were recognized Monday at the governor’s mansion for a variety of traffic safety achievements across the commonwealth.

VCU Police won a Governor’s Transportation Safety Award in the law enforcement category for programs and enforcement efforts completed in 2015. The department won the same award in 2013 and 2015.

VCU Police Capt. Howard “Mike” O’Berry and Capt. Sean Ingram, who oversee operations and patrol, respectively, accepted the award on behalf of VCU’s 92 sworn officers who implemented initiatives and enforce traffic laws year round.

“Each year we look for new ways to educate the community about safe driving and we really went all-out in 2015,” O’Berry said after the ceremony. “It’s an honor to receive the award and a testament to our partnerships in Richmond that help us reach a broader audience of drivers.”

In 2015, VCU Police launched RVA Buzzkill, a multimedia campaign to educate college students in the greater Richmond area about the long-term consequences of underage alcohol consumption.

VCU Police partnered with the Richmond Police Department as well as police departments at the University of Richmond, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and Virginia Union University to send a clear message to college-aged residents: Serve under 21 and the party’s over.

“RVA Buzzkill brought police agencies together to address similar, alcohol-related problems and to be proactive about educating younger city residents,” O’Berry said. “Students don’t always realize the financial and professional costs associated with impaired driving and our goal was to communicate those in as many ways as we could.”

RVA Buzzkill’s multimedia efforts included billboard signage on GRTC buses, radio ads, social media posts and signage for residence halls and medians in the roadway.

Also in 2015, the department participated in educational programs such as Buckle Up, Phone Down to deter texting and driving. It routinely partnered with the Virginia State Police, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and DRIVE SMART Virginia.

The Governor’s Transportation Safety Awards, established in 1993, recognize individuals and public and private organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to transportation safety in Virginia. Award winners are determined by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ Highway Safety Office.