The Cincinnati Bengals received the Ohio State Highway Patrol 2009 Partners for Safety Award Wednesday, Nov. 25 during their weekly press conference.
Ohio Department of Public Safety director Cathy Collins-Taylor and Ohio State Highway Patrol Batavia Post Commander Lt. Randy McElfresh presented the annual award to Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice president.
The patrol’s color guard was part of the on-field pre-game ceremonies for the Bengals home game Sunday, Nov. 29. The award will also be presented publicly to the Bengals marketing department.
In the past three NFL seasons, the OSHP Batavia Post and the Cincinnati Bengals have partnered to promote traffic safety to Bengals players, fans and the Cincinnati community. State troopers have made safety presentations to the Bengals team during training camp in three consecutive seasons - including this season, during which a portion of the presentation was featured on the HBO series Hard Knocks.
In addition, this season the partnership continued with a wallet-sized card containing OVI stats on one side and local taxi cab phone numbers on the other. The cards are being distributed outside Paul Brown Stadium prior to each Bengals home game.
Last season also featured a "Fans don't let fans drive drunk," message from the Bengals, the Batavia Post and the Cincinnati Police Department in an OVI awareness effort. Bengals players Shayne Graham and Chinedum Ndukwe appeared in a commercial about the dangers of impaired driving that aired during Bengals Weekly and on internal monitors and scoreboards at Paul Brown Stadium during the games.
The ODPS traffic safety office purchased paid advertising last season and again this season because Bengals programming provides a great way to reach its audience and the Bengals are supportive of the message through other partnerships.
Previous award recipients include Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. (2005); Pizza Hut (2006); the American Motorcyclist Association (2007) and AK Steel (2008).