Northborough Police, patrolman honored by AAA for traffic safety
By John Swinconeck, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Those thinking of driving while drunk in Northborough may, sooner or later, wind up in the back of a Northborough Police Department cruiser. That ride could very well be courtesy of Officer Jeremy Trefry, who made two-dozen drunk-driving arrests last year, and was recently honored for his work.
Trefry and the Northborough Police Department as a whole were honored with AAA Southern New England Traffic Safety Awards in December at a ceremony held at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester.
AAA honored Trefry as 2013 Traffic Safety Hero of the Year, for his successful and continuing effort to educate and protect the citizens of Northborough, according to Police Chief Mark K. Leahy.
Trefry made 25 drunk driving arrests in 2013, and has been “recognized year after year” by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Leahy told the Board of Selectmen during the board’s Jan. 13 meeting.
“While other sleep, he keeps us safe,” said Leahy, regarding the officer who regularly works a midnight-to-8 a.m. shift. “He has an unbelievable ability to detect impaired operators.”
Trefry has been with the department since 2006, after working part-time for Stow Police for a brief period.
“I grew up around law enforcement and came to respect it,” said Trefry in an interview. “I’ve known since a very young age that this is what I wanted to do, that it was what I was born to do.”
Trefry gave credit to Northborough’s chief, lieutenant, sergeants, and patrol supervisors for encouraging him to be proactive during his shift.
Trefry said he has learned to “look for what isn’t right” when observing traffic.
“I spend much of my time watching people drive,” Trefry said. “You get to know normal driving behaviors versus abnormal driving behaviors. With drunk drivers, it’s not like you see on the commercials–the car that’s swerving all over the road. It’s the little things you can pick out that’s not normal driving behavior.”
Typically, it’s only a matter of time before habitual drunk drivers are caught, he said.
“In time, you’re going to run across the path of a police officer. It’s a matter of time before you get stopped,” said Trefry, who has received multiple “Drive for Life” awards from MADD.
The Northborough Police Department was also honored with the AAA’s 2013 Gold Award of Excellence in recognition of their outstanding achievements in traffic safety.
Leahy said the department was recognized for having 11 years with no pedestrian fatalities.
“We do take our crosswalks seriously,” Leahy told the selectmen. “You, as a motorist, always have an obligation to stop.”
AAA clubs across the country honor cities and towns for their community traffic safety efforts every year, according to the website for AAA of Southern New England:
“Communities are honored for having fatality–free years, for the quality of their local education, awareness and enforcement programs, and for taking steps to solve area traffic safety problems,” it further states.
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