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Doucette Wins VTrans Highway Safety Award

April 2, 2021
Doucette Wins VTrans Highway Safety Award

BENNINGTON - Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette was among those honored with an annual Vermont Agency of Transportation Highway Safety Award.

The awards, which are normally announced during a Vermont Highway Safety Alliance fall conference, were presented virtually this week because of the COVID-19 social distancing restriction.

Doucette received one of two Highway Safety Achievement awards, "presented to an officer who has shown a lifetime of exemplary work and passion for highway safety, while demonstrating teamwork and strong support for their fellow officers and community, over the course of their career."

Also receiving that award was Col. William "Jake" Elovirta, who is retired from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division.

The awards were presented during a virtual ceremony by VTrans Secretary Joe Flynn.

30-YEAR CAREER
Doucette was cited for efforts toward highway safety over his 30 years with the BPD, beginning in 1990, Flynn said. He and another officer began a bicycle patrol program within the department, and the unit has since grown to include six certified bicycle patrol officers.

Doucette also has promoted bicycle safety as a member of the Bennington Police Association by spearheading efforts to provide bike helmets for local children. That effort has provided and fitted thousands of helmets to area children.

In addition, he has been involved in the planning of Bennington's annual bicycle safety rodeo.

Doucette, who was named chief of the BPD in 2009, was also cited as a leader in the Southern Vermont Click It or Ticket task force to promote use of safety belts and in overall efforts to enforce traffic laws.

"Chief Doucette has set a shining example of what a motivated leader can do to promote traffic safety," Flynn said, adding that Doucette "clearly leads from the front" in efforts to ensure traffic safety.

Other awards announced included:
The Fletcher Brush Educational Outreach Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding educational outreach in the promotion of highway safety priorities for Vermont citizens. This annual award honors Fletcher "Buster" Brush, who exemplified the notion of "service above self."

It was awarded to Lindsay Townsend, of the Vermont Driver and Traffic Safety Association.

The Ruby Rainault Occupant Protection Award

This award is presented to an individual or organization that has demonstrated commitment to education, enforcement, and community engagement in helping to increase occupant protection use. Late Deputy Sheriff Ruby Rainault was killed in the line of duty in 2003 while on patrol conducting Occupant Protection safety checks. This award is given in her name to a law enforcement officer who best emulates Ruby's willingness to "do what it takes to help."

The award went to Lt. Allen Fortin, of the Chittenden County Sheriff's Department.

The Impaired Driving Prevention and Enforcement Award

This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to education, enforcement and community engagement to help decrease the incidence of impaired driving.

It was presented to Steven M. Brown, of the Windham County State's Attorney's Office.

The Drug Recognition Expert Award

This award is presented to an individual member of the DRE Program who has demonstrated a commitment to Education, Enforcement and Community Engagement to help decrease the incidence of Impaired Driving.

The award went to Deputy First Class Michael Roj, of the Windham County Sheriff's Office.

The Rising Star Award

This new award is presented to an officer in the first five years of their career who has shown exemplary work and passion for traffic law enforcement, while demonstrating teamwork and strong support for fellow officers and the community. This year VTrans selected two award winners.

They are Trooper Paul Pennoyer and Sgt. Thomas "TJ" Howard, both of the Vermont State Police.


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