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Three local Washington State Patrolmen earn top honors

UNION GAP - Three Washington State Patrolmen with Sunnyside ties were recently recognized for exemplary performance at an awards ceremony in Union Gap.

Trooper Dave Kaiser out of the Kennewick office, a Sunnyside Christian High School graduate, received a Bureau Commendation for making 3,143 violator contacts while on duty in 2006.

Kaiser also received a Bureau Commendation for sustained DUI arrest performance with at least 100 DUI arrests per year in the last five years.

"I think it's definitely a result of the people I work around," Kaiser said. "In the big picture, it's a team theme between dispatch, communications, supervisors and fellow troopers.

"The big picture is that everybody wants to go home after their shift in one piece."

Trooper Rob Morris out of the Sunnyside office received "Chief's Coin" awards for his performance in the three following areas: 71 DUI arrests, 1,441 speed contacts and 2,660 violator contacts.

Morris said, "Speed and seatbelts are the bread and butter of what law enforcement is about. Over half of our fatalities are caused by people not wearing seat belts."

Morris said that he takes preventing collisions and tragedies very seriously.

When it comes to DUI arrests, he says, "I take great pride in taking drunk drivers off the road."

Trooper Tom Mortenson, also of the Sunnyside detachment, was named Certified Technical Collision Specialist of the Year. Mortenson was unavailable for comment.

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