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WE officer awarded for traffic safety effort

Officer Jeremy Cossette, a White Earth Tribal Police Officer and traffic safety advocate, was honored at the state's annual Toward Zero Deaths conference in Rochester, Oct. 8.

Cossette received a 2008 Star Award for playing a key role in developing the Safe & Sober program on the White Earth Reservation, and for his efforts to promote seat belt use.

Cossette says he is especially passionate about seat belt use after being involved in a serious crash while working as an emergency medical technician. He also worked with the tribal council and local government officials to draft a primary seat belt law that will take effect on the reservation in January.

"Officer Cossette's efforts are instrumental in helping to reach our goal of zero traffic deaths," said Cheri Marti, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. "His passion for improving the seat belt use rate in his community deserves to be recognized and rewarded."

Nearly 600 traffic safety stakeholders from around the state attended the annual TZD conference. The conference is a forum to discuss best practices in enforcement, engineering, education and emergency trauma care in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and life-changing injuries on Minnesota roads.