State Patrol chief presents awards

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste stopped Wednesday in Vancouver as part of his annual tour of district headquarters around the state. Troopers and civilians were awarded for last year’s patrol efforts in District 5, an area that covers Clark, Skamania, Lewis, Cowlitz and Klickitat counties.

Among those awarded was Vancouver’s Detachment 3. It was named detachment of the year for its troopers’ activity on the road, the extra duties they took on and the community service they performed outside of work. The troopers in that detachment are Scott Barlow, Bobby Clark, Jeff Heath, Nick Jennings, Richard Thompson and Sgt. Grant Clark, according to the State Patrol.

Troopers with the Morton-area detachment, which covers east Lewis County, were recognized for having no traffic fatalities in 2013. Morton was the only area in the district to earn that distinction. The state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan aims to eliminate all crashes involving deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

“It’s evident in the amount of hardware given out today to the award recipients that you do good work,” Batiste said.

Besides troopers, volunteers and other WSP employees were given district awards. Three men from Chehalis also were given life-saving awards for risking their own safety to rescue motorists in peril.

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