This award recognizes an AAMVA member jurisdiction employee or other individual in law enforcement whose primary function is directly associated with roadway and traffic safety efforts and who has had a distinguished career in this arena. The individual can be currently active or retired.
This award is presented at the international level. Award nominations are from a chief motor vehicle or chief law enforcement administrator only. In the event that the chief administrator is the nominee, the nomination can be submitted by a deputy administrator.
Each agency may submit only ONE nominee.
Criteria for selection:
- Extent of lifetime contributions and achievements
- Impact on roadway safety
Colonel Richard Fambro (Retired)
Ohio State Highway Patrol
On August 12, 2022, Colonel Fambro retired as the 19th superintendent after more than three decades of public service with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. On September 12, 2022, he was sworn in as the police chief of the Grove City (Ohio) Division of Police. His more than 30-year career with the Ohio State Highway Patrol included serving every rank before being appointed superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol by Governor Mike DeWine on March 16, 2019. Governor DeWine's appointment made him the first African-American ever to assume leadership of the Division.
Colonel Fambro began his Patrol career in August 1989 as a cadet dispatcher. He became a member of the 119th Academy Class in January 1990. He earned his commission that June and was assigned to the Dayton Post, where he was selected as Post Trooper of the Year in 1994. Colonel Fambro led the Patrol through the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice demonstrations. His tenure is defined by his mantra ‘Service with Respect.’ Never in the Patrol's history had Ohio faced such enormous opposing obstacles simultaneously and on multiple fronts. As part of the COVID-19 pandemic response, Colonel Fambro modified the primary focus to provide essential assistance to local communities while also meeting the needs of public safety partners. Colonel Fambro led the Patrol in 442 community assistance details and security missions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations also changed due to the necessity of protecting citizens and the state capital during the civil unrest. Under his leadership, the Patrol responded and supported security at 795 demonstrations in more than 178 Ohio cities.
His commitment to community engagement inspired the DRIVE to Live program's development, which has impacted more than 15,000 of Ohio's youth regarding safety and decision-making. DRIVE helps teens understand that whatever road they travel has benefits and consequences. He was actively involved in Light Ohio Blue, which honors fallen officers and their families. Colonel Fambro completed leadership training at Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command and attended the U.S. Army War College. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Ohio Dominican University in 2004 and a Master of Science in Management degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in May 2019.
2022: Major Matthew Cox, Delaware State Police
2021: Colonel Matthew Langer, Minnesota State Patrol
2020: Warren A. Stanley, Commissioner California Highway Patrol
2019: Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr., Superintendent, Delaware State Police
2018: Captain Tom Fields (Retired), Vermont Governor's Highway Safety Program, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
2017: Colonel Ronald K. Replogle (Retired), Missouri State Highway Patrol
2016: Colonel Tracy Trott, Tennessee Highway Patrol
2015: Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miniard, Kentucky State Police
2014: Colonel Mike Edmonson, Louisiana State Police
2013: Captain Lenny Casper, New York State Police
2012: John Batiste, Chief (Individual), Washington State Patrol
2011: Joe Farrow, Commissioner (Individual), California Highway Patrol
2010: Major David Salmon, (Retired) (Individual), New York State Police; Massachusetts State Police (Agency)
2009: Major John Hill (Individual), Indiana State Policy; New York State Policy (Agency)
2008: Colonel Mark Trostel (Individual), Colorado State Police; Missouri State Highway Patrol (Agency)
2007: Colonel Paul McClellan (Retired), Ohio State Highway Patrol
2006: Frank Di'Onofrio, Ontario Ministry of Transportation
2005: The Florida Highway Patrol
2004: Dwight O. Helmick, California Highway Patrol
2003: Colonel Lonnie Westphal (Retired), Colorado State Patrol
2002: Rebecca L. Bickley, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
2001: Michael Smith, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration