Three Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies earned awards Wednesday from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s Middle Tennessee Region.
Cpl. Zachary Williams received the Deputy of the Year award, Cpl. William Travis earned the Seat Belt Award and Deputy Shawn Matthews received the Speed Enforcement Award.
The awards were presented during the THSO’s annual holiday awards lunch, highlighting the traffic safety efforts of law enforcement officers in 97 agencies in Middle Tennessee.
THSO Director Buddy Lewis thanked the Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers, city police officers and sheriff’s deputies for concentrating on traffic safety.
“We are saving lives because of the commitment you make,” Lewis said.
Williams arrested 94 drivers for DUI during the past year, highlighting his dedication to remove impaired drivers from the highways, said Sgt. Austin Watson, who nominated Williams. He conducted more than 252 traffic stops with drivers cited for multiple violations.
He worked overtime from THSO grant funding to foster safer road conditions in Rutherford County. He completed the rigorous training to become a certified Drug Recognition Expert and teaches standardized field sobriety testing to new cadets at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy.
“His exemplary effort extends to the education of fellow officers and community members, emphasizing the significance of our mission to ensure safer roadways,” Watson said.
Travis conducted 251 traffic stops this fiscal year, including stopping 34 drivers for seat belt violations, resulting in seven citations and 27 warnings. His work contributed to no one losing their lives from not wearing a seat belt and a 78.6 percent reduction in failing to wear a seat belt as a factor in crashes during the fourth quarter.
“Cpl. Travis consistently exceeds expectations in ensuring the welfare of motorists by encouraging seat belt usage,” Watson said. “His commitment to this vital aspect of road safety is commendable.”
While patrolling, Matthews conducted 208 vehicle stops with 137 stops related to drivers speeding. He issued 35 citations and 102 warnings. His efforts impacted road safety since there was not an increase in traffic deaths related to speeding.
“Matthews’ exemplary work has made a substantial contribution in enhancing the safety of Rutherford County’s roadways,” Watson said.