GRANGER — Sixteen law enforcement officers were recognized Wednesday by the Elkhart County Drug Free Partnership for racking up the most drunken-driving and drug arrests.

During the banquet at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the officers were honored for helping to keep the roadways in Elkhart County safe from impaired drivers, a program the organization has supported for more than a decade.

Jess Koscher, director of the Drug Free Partnership, said it was important to the organization to recognize the law enforcement officers who were dedicated in pulling over impaired drivers.

“Many times their work goes unnoticed. We wanted to say thank you and to let them know their work is important,” Koscher said. “It takes a lot of time to process an impaired driver and yet doing so saves lives.”

Many of the officers are previous award recipients, he said, with some having won five years in a row or more.

Two years ago, the partnership also began recognizing officers who had the highest number of drug seizures during roadside stops. This year, seven officers received drug interdiction awards.

The Elkhart County Drug-Free Partnership has been supporting efforts in law enforcement, treatment and prevention in Elkhart County for 30 years.

Top 2018 OWI officers

Bristol Police Department: Kyle Hamood

Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office: Scott Frey

Elkhart City Police: Justin Gage

Goshen City Police: Austin Everage

Indiana State Police: Arthur Smith

Middlebury Police: Bryan Wodtkey

Nappanee Police: Casey Livengood

Wakarusa Police: James Geleske and Eric Lechlitner

Top 2018 drug interdiction officers

Bristol Police Department: Kyle Hamood

Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office: Adrian Zehr

Elkhart City Police: Jared Davies

Goshen Police Department: Chris Waddell

Indiana State Police: Aaron Price

Middlebury Police: Bryan Wodtkey

Nappanee Police: Aaron Leming 

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