Bish and Ballard recognized

Mercer County Sheriff's Department Deputy J.S. Bish and A.M. Ballard were recognized during the 7th Annual Highway2Enforcement Awards Banquet on May 23. Area law enforcement officers were recognized for their outstanding achievements at drunk and drugged driving apprehension. Bish and Ballard were lauded for their work against DUI driving. The two are also certified as DRE's or drug recognition experts

DANIELS — For outstanding service in the law enforcement field, two Mercer County Deputies were awarded during the 7th Annual Highway2Enforcement (H2E) Awards Banquet on May 23.

Of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy J.S. Bish and Sgt. A.M. Ballard were recognized for their work against DUI driving. The two are also certified as DREs or drug recognition experts.

Ballard, who is also the Coordinator of the West Virginia Coalfields Highway Safety Program, said in a release, “Our officers across the state are out daily; responding to calls for service and conducting traffic enforcement. Many of these officers had a goal to change and save lives when they became officers. The Highway Sagey Program helps them to build on the lifesaving goals by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities.” 

As part of West Virginia’s Top 52 Enforcers, the officers awarded were recognized for showing exception work to apprehending those driving under the influence. Coinciding with the banquet, the H2E conference was underway to further educate officers on ways to apprehend DUI drivers.

“One of the proven countermeasures to reduce those crashes that is used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is by enforcement. Statistics prove that there is a direct correlation between increased enforcement and a reduction in crash fatalities – thus saving lives,” Ballard said in the release.

According to Ballard, of the 52 officers recognized during this year’s banquet have been trained in the West Virginia Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) program. Some are also DRE certified, as Ballard and Bish are. This certification aids officers in identifying and catching apprehending those driving under the influence.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com