LINCOLN, RI — Mayor Joseph J. Solomon joined Warwick Police, members of the state Department of Transportation, and the deputy regional administrator for Region 1 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the Highway Safety Champion awards ceremony at AMICA Insurance in Lincoln Friday.
The award program focuses on three highway safety priorities: impaired driving, speed management and occupant protection. These measures help to reduce injuries and crime and save lives.
Officer Ali M. Jaafar received the Impaired Driving Enforcement Award, Officer Derek Mourato was named the Overall 2018 Highway Safety Champion award winner and the Warwick Police Department received the overall Agency Award.
“I am extraordinarily proud of the men and women of our department, who work tremendously hard to ensure that our roads are safe for our residents, the business community, and the millions of people who travel in and out of T.F. Green International Airport each year,” Solomon said. “Under Colonel McCartney’s leadership, Warwick has become a leader in these efforts. I want to commend the work of Patrolman Jaafar and Patrolman Mourato, whose personal dedication to this important cause has also brought honor and distinction to our department.”
According to information provided by RIDOT, the Warwick Police Department has taken part in the program every year since its inception and has reached or exceeded performance standards in a variety of categories, including impaired driving, occupant protection, pedestrian and bicycle safety, distracted driving and speed enforcement. The department’s commitment and high visibility enforcement efforts have particularly helped to decrease fatal crashes and those that result in serious injury.
“We applaud the leadership of Colonel Stephen M. McCartney and his ability to motivate his officers with the energy and passion they possess to create positive change in drivers’ behavior. Leadership is important but the officers of the Warwick Police Department have made the personal choice to make traffic safety a priority. Fortunately for the city of Warwick, their officers’ passion to work toward zero-fatalities and serious bodily injury continues to make our roadways safe,” the RIDOT said in a statement about the awards.
Mourato led all applicants in total violations and arrests covering the three safety priority areas. A graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island, where he earned an Associate’s degree, he began his career at the Wyatt Detention Center and the state ACI. After three subsequent years in North Smithfield, he arrived at Warwick in 2016. He is certified in a number of enforcement areas and has received several awards, including the Chiefs awards, traffic enforcement and DUI enforcement awards, recognition from the Attorney General, employee of the month and the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers’ Hero Award.
Jaafar joined the department in 2016 and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Windsor in Ontario. He served as a special constable with the London Police Service there and was a residential counselor at the Windsor Youth Detention Center. He holds a number of certifications and has received specialized training in several areas. He was a 2017 Mothers Against Drunk Driving Rookie Officer of the Year Award recipient and also earned the 2016 Police Academy Use of Force Warrior Award.