Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319


For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
May 5, 2015
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Eighteen Recognized with Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety

DES MOINES, Iowa – Last week, during the 25th Annual Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Conference, held at the Meadows Events Center, eighteen local law enforcement officials and agencies were awarded the Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety annually recognizes outstanding contributions to traffic safety based on commitment and service provided beyond routine duties, creativity of approach, and effectiveness of a traffic safety program or campaign in 2014. 

The 2015 Recipients include:

Sergeant Alex Gries – Buffalo Police Department
In 2014, while serving in a 6.5 square mile jurisdiction, Officer Gries made 10 OWI arrests and led his department with 311 traffic stops including 87 citations. He currently has a 100% OWI conviction rate. In addition, he created a Facebook page for the police department to educate the public on traffic safety and specifically, the dangers of drinking and driving.

Senior Police Officer Jon Dallman – Des Moines Police Department
In 2014 he made 15 DRE arrests, 129 OWI arrests and wrote 370 moving violation tickets.

Dorothea Trotter – Iowa Department of  Transportation
In 2014 she was tasked with updating the crash report to meet federal and state guidelines on data collection.  The new report was designed to flow from one step to another while following the previous version as much as possible.  She also created an updated Investigating Officer’s Accident Reporting Guide to help with training for the new report. 

Trooper David Driesen – Iowa State Patrol
In 2014 he had 38 alcohol arrests, 6 OWI drug arrests, 8 DRE evaluations, and 33 narcotic arrests. 

Trooper Jason Halverson – Iowa State Patrol
He led the district with 105 seat belt citations, 835 traffic citations and 1,453 enforcement contacts.  He also led the district with 32 narcotics arrests, some of which produced large scale investigations. 

Trooper Michael Kober – Iowa State Patrol
In 2014, he performed 726 commercial motor vehicle inspections and placed 319 drivers and 21 vehicles out of service for serious safety issues, eliminating the threat of them being involved in crashes.

Trooper Carlos Lopez – Iowa State Patrol
In 2014 he significantly surpassed the other troopers in the district by stopping 2,274 vehicles resulting in 3,939 enforcement contacts including 171 seat belt citations and the removal of 18 impaired drivers.

Officer Emory Ochoa – Iowa State University Police
In the first half of 2014, he made 75 OWI arrests, all while responding to his normal calls for service.  Officer Ochoa took it upon himself to improve his enforcement techniques by attending ARIDE and consulting with SFST Instructors to better his skills.

Deputy Tony Ong – Jasper County Sheriff’s Office
In 2014, he made 24 OWI arrests, 42 drug arrests, 44 alcohol related arrests, and issued 1,046 citations and warnings.  His 1,632 traffic stops in 2014 were 3 times more than any other Jasper County deputy and resulted in 89 arrests. 

Senior Police Officer Dan Plueger – LeMars Police Department
In 2014 he made 377 traffic stops resulting in citations and 742 resulting in warnings, 37 OWI arrests, including 8 that were OWI drugged, and 29 DRE exams.

Deputy Ben Veren – Marshall County Sheriff’s Office
In 2014, he wrote 410 traffic citations, worked 84 hours of traffic enforcement overtime, made 106 child safety seat inspections, coordinated in-service training on OWI and traffic enforcement with IDOT, prosecutors, and the Attorney General’s Office.  He attended planning meetings with the GTSB and IDOT to develop the Safety Checkpoint Trailer and participated in numerous community events.  In January, he spoke with the Senate Safety Committee to propose tighter seat belt and child safety seat restrictions for improved passenger safety.

Officer Eric Davis – Sioux City Police Department
In 2014 he had 15 confirmed DRE evaluations and 119 OWI arrests with a 100% conviction rate. 

Deputy Director John A. Lundell, MA – University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center
He has been the administrator of the statewide child passenger occupant protection survey since 1996.  The survey is considered one of the richest sources of child passenger safety information in the country.  Data from this survey has been used to raise awareness about child passenger safety issues.  He also served on a statewide taskforce to improve Iowa’s Graduated Driver Licensing legislation and provided relevant scientific information to the legislature. 

Bremer County Sheriff’s Office
During 2014 the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office averaged 9 deputies working each of the 5 sTEP enforcement waves resulting in 1,341 traffic contacts and an average 96.4% seat belt usage rate.

Hinton Police Department
The Hinton Police Department is a small, two man agency but they made a big difference by making 460 traffic contacts over the five sTEP Waves, averaging 46 violations per wave and the average seat belt usage rate was 94.6%.

Indianola Police Department
During 2014 the Indianola Police Department averaged 12 officers working each of the 5 sTEP enforcement waves resulting in 1,394 traffic contacts, averaging 23 violations per officer.  The average seat belt usage rate was 94.3%. 

Ida County Sheriff’s Office
The Ida County Sheriff’s Office averaged 2.5 deputies working each of the five waves resulting in 404 traffic violations which was an increase of 113 over their 2013 contacts.  The average seat belt usage rate was 89.2%.

Media questions, contact Alex Murphy, Iowa Department of Public Safety, Public Information Officer, (515) 443-3014.


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