Fairfax County honored for traffic safety programs

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Local,Crime,Aubrey Whelan

Fairfax County police have received three awards from two major law enforcement organizations for achievements in traffic safety programs in the county, police said recently.

The Fairfax department won the Underage Alcohol special category award from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, or VACP, for its work to keep kids away from alcohol, according to a news release from the department. Fairfax police's efforts range from working with local prevention coalitions to combat binge and underage drinking to initiating "undercover buying operations" and DUI enforcement initiatives.

The department's work to fight underage drinking was also recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, who gave Fairfax County police a second-place nationwide Chiefs Challenge Award.

Fairfax has also received accolades for initiatives with commercial vehicles. The department operates a Motor Carrier Safety team that inspects commercial vehicles and removes unsafe vehicles from the roads, police said. The team, which receives special training from the federal government, carries towing equipment and chainsaws to get unsafe commercial vehicles off of Fairfax roadways. The team's efforts were recognized by the VACP, as well, police said.

Police said Fairfax typically receives more than 200,000 calls a year for traffic accidents and runs traffic safety initiatives on everything from alcohol education to aggressive driving.

awhelan@washingtonexaminer.com

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