Petaluma police win traffic award —?for fifth time

It's a five-peat for Petaluma police.

For the fifth year in a row, the department was honored by the California Law Enforcement Challenge for having the best program of cracking down on impaired drivers among the state's police departments. (When it comes to five-peats, the New York Yankees did it by winning the World Series from 1949 to 1953 and the Montreal Canadiens by winning the Stanley Cup 1056 to 1960, so it's not easy.)

At a ceremony Thursday at the Petaluma police station, officials thought it was a four-peat. But a check later of challenge records showed that it was the fifth straight year.

The award is so significant that CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow and Christopher Murphy, director of the state Office of Traffic Safety, came to Petaluma to honor the city's officers, particularly its traffic team headed by Sgt. Ken Savano.

Farrow noted that different, out-of-state judges decide the winners, "so they don't know who won last year." This year, he said, the seven judges unanimously voted for Petaluma's impaired driving program conducted in 2011.

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