Oklahoma BUCKLEDOWN Awards Program

History

In 1993, an awards program was organized by Dr. Richard Coberg and the late Sgt. Mike Garner to recognize a group of Tulsa Police Officers for their outstanding performance in DUI and Seat Belt enforcement. The first awards were presented in the spring of 1994. Memorial Awards were created at that time to honor Sgt. Don Byerley and Officer Fabrienne VanArsdell, both Tulsa Police Officers killed in the line of duty by alcohol-impaired drivers.

By 1999, The Buckledown Awards has grown to include all law enforcement officers in Oklahoma.

In 2001, a third Memorial Award was created to honor Trooper Matthew Scott Evans, an outspoken traffic safety advocate who was killed in 2000 by a drugged driver in Oklahoma City.

In 2018 the committee created a fourth Memorial Award to honor Trooper Nicholas Dees. While working a collision in 2015, Trooper Dees was hit and killed by a man who was texting and driving.

Since it began in 1993, the BUCKLEDOWN Awards Program has grown from a small local traffic safety recognition program to the largest statewide recognition of law enforcement officers in the state and the region.