A law enforcement officer’s job begins and ends with protecting the public. In the busiest city or the smallest town, local and state law enforcement officials are ready to step in to keep the community safe.

Every law enforcement officer has his or her own reasons for signing up to be an officer, but there is one common thread on everyone’s list: the desire to serve and protect. Police officers are aware of the dangers that the job can require, but they know that a part of wearing the badge is the ability to face those risks head-on.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a new video production last week featuring Fremont County law enforcement officials and their efforts. “The video production features prominently the efforts of Fremont County law enforcement officers in fighting impaired driving and enforcement of seat belts. Great work Fremont County!” said Wyoming Department of Transportation law enforcement liaison Pete Abrams of Casper. “All Fremont County law enforcement officers should be proud their their efforts and the results they have obtained for the people of Fremont County.”

From 2012-16, Fremont County averaged the third highest traffic fatality rate in Wyoming. And of the 17 Fremont County traffic fatalities in 2015, 15 were related to alcohol. At the conclusion of Fremont County law enforcement efforts in 2016, traffic fatalities dropped to 13, and of those, alcohol-related traffic fatalities dropped to 5.

“Over the last 5 years, Fremont County has accounted for 19 percent (39 of 206) of impaired driving fatalities in Wyoming. There is still much to do,” Abrams said.

The video production highlights the combined efforts of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, police departments in Riverton, Lander and Shoshoni, and Wyoming State Parks police officers.

The video may be viewed on the Internet at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgKOdWUkShc&feature=youtu.be

“As a community, we can rest easy knowing a law enforcement officer will be there when we need them. But it’s also essential that we create a ‘safety culture’ to keep each other safe,” said Abrams. “There’s nothing silly about obeying the law.”

Law enforcement officers knowingly respond to dangerous situations, not completely knowing what they will find when they arrive on the scene. From violent crimes to traffic stops to drug overdoses and vehicle crashes, officers repeatedly put themselves in danger to protect the public. “Take time to thank your local and state officers for all that they do for your community, whether it’s making sure your children get to school safely, or keeping drunk drivers off the road,” Abrams said.

Abrams also stressed the importance of citizens being good examples for their community. “Officers can’t be everywhere, so it’s important that everyone does their part to keep their community safe, which includes things like not driving distracted, always wearing a seat belt, and always designating a sober driver to get you home safely if you’ve been drinking,” he said.

“So remember, next time you see a law enforcement officer, take time to reflect on and recognize the difficult career they have chosen, and the dedication and passion it takes to excel at it,” Abrams said.

Whether the goal is to be an active part of the community, to make a positive change in someone’s life, or to keep families safe, all law enforcement officers have reasons Why They Serve.

For more information about the Why They Serve Law Enforcement Appreciation campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.