Meet the Hearts Behind the Badge

Check out the four stories below to see the positive impact local law enforcers have on their communities.

Embracing community, building relationships and saving lives.

Local law enforcement officers and agencies are working every day to be a positive, trusted presence in their towns and neighborhoods. Through their efforts, these brave men and women help save lives by enforcing laws and educating the public on the dangers of risky driving. By building strong community relationships, deputies and officers all across America are changing lives for the better. We went to four communities across the country to learn more about the programs that are strengthening the law enforcement and community relationship and keeping people safe. Watch their stories below.

DRUNK DRIVING WAS KILLING TOO MANY
Hearts Behind the Badge: Fremont County, WY

See how their combined efforts reduced drunk driving deaths in just one year.

The officers in Fremont County, Wyoming noticed that drunk driving was claiming too many lives on their roads, so they took action.


It's simple: If you've been drinking, don't drive.

Drunk driving is illegal, yet it still continues to happen all across the United States. Getting behind the wheel after a few drinks puts you, your passengers and other road users at risk of serious injury or death. In 2017, 10,874 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes and an average of 1 alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 48 minutes. If you choose to drink, be responsible and have a plan to get home safely.
 

Drinking and driving can cost you.

You could get arrested, lose your driver's license and lose your vehicle. A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000 in fines and fees. If you kill someone while drunk driving, you could face manslaughter chargers.

NO EMPTY CHAIR AT GRADUATION
Hearts Behind the Badge: Herkimer, NY

See how a mock fatal crash impacts teen drivers in Herkimer, New York.

Deputy Stephanie Lawson has been a part of the Herkimer, NY community for her entire life. After losing a classmate to drunk driving when she was in school, she dedicated her life to educating teens on the dangers of drunk driving and preventing these tragedies from happening in the future.


Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths.

As teens start driving and gaining independence, they don't always make the smartest decisions regarding their safety. They speed, don't wear their seat belts, make mistakes and get distracted easily. Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing by 23 times. The majority of teens in fatal crashes in 2016 were unbuckled, and teens are more likely than anyone else to be killed in an alcohol-related crash. Talk to your teen about the dangers of risky driving and educate them on the importance of road safety. Remind them that, despite what they think, they aren't invincible.

Safe driving habits start with you.

Your teens are watching. Always keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and wear your seat belt. Be consistent between the message you tell your teen and your own driving behaviors. Novice teen drivers most often learn from watching their parents.

ENFORCING THE LAW SAVES LIVES
Hearts Behind the Badge, Toombs County, GA

Watch the video to see how one officer saved two lives with a simple act.

When a young couple got a citation for not wearing their seat belts, they were frustrated and annoyed. Little did they know that citation would literally save their lives.


The safest choice you can make as a driver or passenger is to buckle up.

No matter what type of vehicle you drive, wearing your seat belt is the best defense against impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers. Even if your car has airbags, the safest way to ride is properly buckled up. In 2016, 48 percent of people killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts. Be smart. Be safe. Buckle up.

Wear your seat belt every timeā€”no matter how uncomfortable it feels or how far you're going.

Buckling up in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent.

GIVING BACK TO THEIR COMMUNITY
Hearts Behind the Badge: Los Angeles, CA

Watch the video to see how their outreach is changing lives and building relationships.

California Highway Patrol officers love giving back to their community. So much so, that they actually created a special task force solely dedicated to public outreach and support.