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Hingham police recognized for excellence in traffic enforcement

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 4, 2013 12:47 PM

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Photo courtesy of Hingham Police

Traffic Sgt. Steven Dearth, Hingham volunteer Courtney Palek, Chief Michael Peraino, and Mary Maguire, AAA Southern New England’s Director of Public and Legislative Affairs pose for a photo at an awards luncheon in Dedham in December.


For the third straight year, Hingham police have been recognized by AAA Southern New England for excellence in traffic education and enforcement.

The department was one of three in the region and the only one on the South Shore to earn a Gold Award. Additionally, the department received an award recognizing 12 years without a pedestrian fatality.

A new award was also given out this year to a Hingham resident, Courtney Palek. She was nominated for arranging officer visits at nine preschools during September’s National Child Passenger Safety Week.

“Because of her efforts, officers were able to visit over 800 children that week and discuss seat belts and other traffic safety topics,” Sergeant Steven Dearth said in a release.

Palek also spoke at Citizens Police Academy classes regarding seat belts and drunk driving.

Palek has been an advocate for seat belts since she and a repeat drunk driver struck her and her three children head-on on Summer Street in Hingham in 2009.

According to Dearth, the awards were handed out at a luncheon ceremony in Dedham last month. All awards were based on figures from 2011.

“Specifically, AAA recognized the Hingham Police Department for their traffic safety community programs and efforts including: Gas Pump Buckle Up Stickers, Designated Driver Program, Child Passenger Seat Installation Program, work with the Hingham High School S.A.A.D. group, work with Hingham Senior Center by hosting AAA’s Older & Wiser Driver seminar, and enforcement efforts such as conducting Sobriety Checkpoints with the State Police and several OUI Saturation Patrols throughout the year,” Dearth said.

Last year, the Hingham Police Department was given a Gold Award for its 2010 efforts in traffic education and enforcement. And the year before, the department received a Bronze Award for its traffic safety efforts in 2009.

All the awards are on display in the police station lobby.

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