FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Fort Walton Beach Police Department scored Florida’s top ranking for traffic safety awareness. The Florida Department of Transportation based the awards on crash prevention and education initiatives.

FWBPD 2022 award crash statistics:

  • Reduced overall crashes by 45%
  • Reduced injury crashes by 46%
  • Reduced fatal crashes by 50%. 
  • Reduced impaired crashes by 47%
  • Reduced motorcycle crashes by 65%
  • Reduced pedestrian and bike crashes by 58%

Mayor Dick Rynearson and the council recognized the force at a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9, after a formal ceremony in Orlando on July 15.

“The department was able to accomplish these through the chief’s directions to educate, encourage and enforce safety,” said Rynearson. “Thanks to the dedication and hard work of everyone, both sworn and professional staff for the great job you do for the city of Fort Walton Beach.”

Major Mark Hayse accepted the plaque from the city on behalf of Chief Bage Tuesday night.

“I humbly accept this on behalf of everyone at the police department,” said Hayse. “They go out there every day and carry out the mission of the city and the direction of the Council, and we appreciate your support Mr. Mayor, we appreciate the Council’s support and especially the support of the citizens.” 

The traffic safety challenge brings together more than 250 law enforcement agencies for a two-day event.

The Fort Walton Beach Department was given an award for placing #1 in the state for a mid size agency (51-100 Officers) during the Traffic Safety Awareness Challenge. This challenge is not for solely writing citations, but enforcement action to include educating driver’s and reducing crashes.

While at this ceremony Officers were able attend valuable training for impaired driving. They walked away with not only an award, but more knowledge to bring back to our agency.

Fort Walton Beach Police Department on July 15