Sgt. Barry Cowan awarded

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) recently honored more than 200 law enforcement officers from 185 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to target impaired drivers.

The 2017 Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. Awards were presented to officers with the most impaired-driving arrests in each agency and Highway Safety All-Star awards were presented to the top three in each division.

For the past 12 years Sgt. Barry Cowan has led the Middlesboro Police Department in DUI arrests and eight out of those 12 years Cowan has been a state leader for those arrests. This year, Cowan placed first in the MPD’s division.

“We are honoring those who put their lives on the line each day to save the lives of others,” said KOHS Executive Director Dr. Noelle Hunter. “These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for all Kentuckians, and on behalf of Governor Matt Bevin, we say thank you.”

Perry County District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens, who was injured by a drunken driver in 2015, commended the aggressive enforcement and awareness efforts.

“It is an honor to stand before those who serve and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Judge Stephens. “We will never know the number of lives saved and victims spared by your efforts to stop drunk and drugged drivers. When I see a law enforcement officer, I see a friend. You have my utmost respect and admiration. I thank you for your service, I thank God for you and I pray for your own safety and protection.”

The KOHS, Kentucky State Police and other law enforcement agencies partnered for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday enforcement campaign that ran through Jan. 1. The campaign is funded through NHTSA, which says high-visibility enforcement reduces impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.