FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 22, 2013) -- The Fort Lee Provost Marshal Office has won first place in the Military Police Category of the 2012 International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police National Law Enforcement Challenges.

It's the third time in four years that both organizations have selected the post as a top finalist in the competitions.

The Law Enforcement Challenges recognize excellence among state and national law enforcement traffic safety programs. Police agencies of all sizes worldwide -- primarily from the United States and Canada -- participate in the competition each year. Fort Lee historically competes against other military law enforcement organizations from the Army and Navy.

According to the IACP website, the award program provides recognition for police agencies that strive to make a difference in the communities they serve and allows competing agencies to learn from one another and establish future goals in traffic safety enforcement and education.

Submissions are evaluated in the following categories: policy and guidelines, training of officers, incentives and recognition, public information and education, enforcement activity, and effectiveness of efforts. A panel of evaluators reviews each submission and assigns points based on established criteria. Participants must provide information and answer a series of both quantitative and qualitative questions about their agency, some of its policies, and the number of citations/warnings issued for safety belt/child seat violations, impaired driving, speeding and special enforcement efforts for the last three years.

Some of the recent successes cited by the Fort Lee PMO include the following:

• Thirty child safety seat inspections conducted in 2012. All were in conjunction with the national Safe Kids Campaign. The Prince George and Petersburg police departments assisted with the Installation Safety Stand-Down Day inspections conducted on May 25, 2012 and nearly 138 families participated.

• In July 2012, the PMO joined a Tri-Cities Sobriety Checkpoint Partnership with the Virginia State Police and the Petersburg, Prince George and Hopewell police departments. Three sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols were conducted, which resulted in a total of 34 violations and arrests.

• The PMO recognized three officers for making the most DUI arrests in 2012, and those individuals were subsequently honored by "Mothers Against Drunk Driving" during a September awards ceremony in Richmond.

• Eleven joint "saturation patrols" were conducted in 2012 with 80 hours of combined activity. The safety and sobriety checks led to nine DUI arrests (13 Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were conducted) and 48 summonses for other violations like speeding, suspended or revoked licenses, seatbelt violations, and illegal possessions of alcohol or drugs.

"The team did a tremendous job in meeting the IACP's stringent requirements and are definitely worthy of this recognition," said Maj. David Martin, the Fort Lee Provost Marshal. "The tireless efforts by our extremely dedicated military and civilian police officers over the last year in traffic safety, community awareness and enforcement really made the difference."

Lead Sgt. Rico Williams of the Fort Lee DA Civilian Police led the team that put together the winning packet, Martin noted. "He spent countless hours developing a submission that effectively highlighted the hard work exhibited every day by Fort Lee's law enforcement professionals and the benefit to the community as a result of those efforts," the major said.

The PMO representatives will receive the state-level award during the VACP annual conference next week in Williamsburg. The national award will be presented during the IACP's annual conference in Philadelphia in October.